MAC Curves

A Marginal Abatement Cost (MAC) Curve shows you which carbon reduction measures save the most money.  Comparing interventions on a MAC Curve will enable you to choose from a selection of possible measures and see which make best financial sense to invest in and which save the most carbon.  It condenses complicated data into a graph showing cost effectiveness and magnitude of carbon saved.

We’ve also been exploring bringing the social value into the comparison with our Healthy Returns on Sustainability Interventions. This compares the impact of eight example sustainability interventions and highlights the carbon, financial and health benefits.

The interventions have been scaled up to a national level and the figures presented in the form of an infographic which can either be downloaded below as a PDF - or visit the Healthy Interventions page for more background and different versions and formats.

We provide a short explanation of MAC Curves on page 4 and 5 of our UPDATE Carbon Reduction Strategy (published 2010) - see download below.

To learn how MAC Curves can help Financial Directors and Estate Managers save money then please read our guidance: "Save Money by Saving Carbon".

There is a more detailed report about the workings of MAC Curves available for download below.


  • Carbon Reduction Strategy Update
    Carbon Reduction Strategy Update

    This Update by the Sustainable Development Unit provides important information and additional tools to help your organisation reduce its carbon emissions and become more sustainable.

    Download Document

  • Healthy Returns infographic - A3 (public)
    Healthy Returns infographic - A3 (public)

    A3 printable version of the infographic showing interventions with financial, social and environmental benefits.

    Download Document

  • MAC Curves
    MAC Curves

    This report displays how powerful the Marginal Abatement Cost (MAC) Curve can be as a tool to collate and illustrate a vast amount of data in a meaningful way. It indicates the win-wins where cutting carbon saves money and puts into perspective those measures where the investment costs cannot be recouped. It shows where the most cost efficient and largest CO2 savings can be made.

    Download Document

  • Save Money by Saving Carbon
    Save Money by Saving Carbon

    The guidance will give financial directors and estates managers essential information on how to save money while reducing carbon (please note this document was produced in 2010 – although approaches and concepts still apply some facts and figures will not be up to date).

    Download Document