Useful organisations

Module four

There are lots of organisations offering handy resources, toolkits, blog posts and case studies to help you with your next steps now you’ve reached the end of our toolkit.

So many so that it can become overwhelming! That’s why we’ve put together a list of organisations that will be helpful for your net zero journey. We’ve listed ones that have been recommended by our network of ambassadors and SME members.

Our list of useful organisations will help you with:

  • Guidance on how to refine your data and make it more accurate
  • Measuring Scope 3 elements not covered in our toolkit
  • Guidance on where to make net zero commitments
  • Finding industry specific net zero initiatives
  • Net zero and sustainability awards

If on your journey you come across any other useful organisations, either sector specific or more general, let us know and we’ll keep this list updated for other SMEs to follow.

General: information, resources and carbon footprint measurement

Heart of the City’s foundation programme. Continue your journey on our foundation programme which has an environmental focus alongside people, community and purpose. You’ll have access to 1:1 support through a membership manager and also learn from our ambassador experts at events.

Government greenhouse gas emissions conversion factors is where the UK government publishes greenhouse gas emissions factors every year that you can use to measure your carbon footprint. They also have an overseas electricity tab where you can access emission factors for other countries’ electricity emissions – useful for you if you have international offices. You can also access past years’ conversion factors which are useful if you’re measuring a historic baseline year.

Government published purchased services and goods emissions conversion factors is on the ‘Conversion factors 2018’ tab in the ‘Data download consumption emissions 1997-2018’ spreadsheet. The categories are based on COICOP codes (Classification of individual consumption by purpose). Although not completely up to date, it’s a good starting point to measure individual purchased services and goods to identify large emitting areas.

Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is a recognised measuring and reporting standard. They provide guidance on how to calculate your Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions, giving you various methodologies for calculations depending on the data you have available. The GHG Protocol has collaborated with Quantis to develop a Scope 3 evaluator. It’s a free to use tool that helps you measure your Scope 3 emissions. It’s a great place to look for guidance on how to measure Scope 3 elements not covered in this climate course. They also provide training for businesses.

SME Climate Hub is a UK government initiative and is specifically designed to help SMEs take action against climate change. The hub has resources, both for general and industry specific guidance on measuring and reducing your carbon footprint.

London Business Hub has resources both for general and industry specific guidance to help you reduce your carbon footprint.

Carbon Trust has a useful resources page with guides to help you reduce your emissions, and reports to provide context and evidence to topical issues such as home working and video streaming. They also run education events, some are free to attend.

Carbon Intelligence has a range of resources available both for general and industry specific guidance for measuring and reducing your carbon footprint.

Climate Collaborative has a range of resources and guides to help you with ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint emissions.

West London Business has a sustainability tools guide with links to resources and organisations that can help you on your net zero journey.

Chapter Zero helps to equip non-executive directors to lead discussions on the impacts of climate change and to ensure futureproofing of their business. They have a toolkit and knowledge hub available.

Ecoact is a climate consultancy. They have a wide range of resources and factsheets available to help you measure your carbon footprint and understand reporting frameworks. They also produced the homeworking emissions whitepaper used in Heart of the City’s carbon calculator.

The Chancery Lane Project is an international collaborative effort of lawyers to develop new contracts and model laws to help fight climate change. There are open access clauses that you can use in contracts. There are also opportunities to get involved drafting clauses or lending your expertise.

wrap works with businesses to deliver practical solutions to improve resources efficiency and systematic change across supply chains. They have a range of resources, tools and reports to take action on waste.

Ellen Macarthur Foundation focuses on the circular economy. They have tools and events available to help you understand about the circular economy and to implement practices within your business.

Planet Mark is a sustainability certification organisation that recognises continuous improvement in reducing your carbon footprint emissions. They help you to measure your carbon footprint and guide you with ways to reduce your emissions. There are costs associated. Quote ‘Heart of the City’ when joining Planet Mark for 10% off your first year of certification.

Work with consultants to refine your carbon footprint measurement and net zero action plans. Green and Good Consulting is a boutique consultancy specialising in strategy, communications and research.

Work with energy auditors to identify areas where energy savings can be made.

Wholegrain Digital is a sustainable web design agency. They have resources and blogs available aimed at helping you improve your knowledge, measurement, and reduction of tech emissions.

Fit for the Future is an environmental sustainability network that facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration across organisations and sectors so that rapid decarbonisation can be achieved. There are costs associated.

General: pledges and commitments

Race to Zero is a UN backed global campaign where you make a climate commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. It’s one of the most well-known climate commitments SMEs are encouraged to make their commitment on the SME Climate Hub, you can also make your commitment via Planet Mark, an official Race to Zero partner.

Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) encourages companies to set a net zero target that’s based on climate science to limit global warming to 1.5 above pre-industrial levels. There’s a cost associated, but the SBTi has an SME route which is cheaper. The SME route requires you to set a target for your Scope 1 and 2 emissions, you need to measure and reduce your Scope 3 emissions, but a target isn’t required.

The Climate Pledge is where you can make a climate commitment to achieve net zero by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded the pledge.

Pledge to Net Zero is where you can make a climate commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest. Signing this commitment also requires you to either write a thought leadership piece on practical steps to reach net zero, or to help SMEs to set net zero targets. Pledge to Zero are also an official Race to Zero partner.

General: offsetting

Carbon footprint has a range of avoidance offsets available across a number of countries. They’re Quality Assurance Standard approved.

Tree-nation has a range of avoidance and tree planting removal offsets available across a number of countries.

Location specific

Clean City Awards Scheme (CCAS) are awards for businesses in the City of London. You need to be a CCAS member to apply for the awards. They’re run by the City of London Corporation to help drive sustainable business.

Zero Emissions Network is a network of businesses and residents in London’s City Fringe areas that provides initiatives to help you with net zero actions and solutions.

Camden Climate Change Alliance is a not-for-profit membership network for businesses in Camden. You’ll have access to tools and guides to help you measure and report your carbon footprint emissions. There’s a free and fee paying membership option.

Islington Sustainable Energy Partnership is a network for businesses in Islington on their journey to net zero and looking to improve their environmental impacts. You can learn from others and share your ideas. There are costs associated.

ReLondon works with businesses across London to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency through waste and resource management to construct a low-carbon circular economy.

West London Business provides guidance and advice for businesses based in West London. They’ve highlighted environment and climate change as a key issue and provide links to West London based initiatives and projects on their website. They also have a nonlocation specific sustainability tools guide with links to resources and organisations that can help you on your net zero journey.

Explore if your local business improvement district has any net zero initiatives or projects.

Industry specific

Financial 

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change works to support the investment community to reach net zero. They have a range of resources to help you on your journey.

Net Zero Asset Managers is a global initiative where asset managers can make a climate commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest, and to supporting investing aligned with net zero emissions by 2050.

Principles for Responsible Investment are a set of principles for responsible investment that offer possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practices. They have a wide range of resources on different topics, including climate change.

Legal

Legal Sustainability Alliance is a sustainability network for UK law firms. They have open access resources with guides and tools to help you on your net zero journey. They also have a carbon calculator available for paying members.

Tech

Tech Zero is a climate commitment specifically for UK tech companies. They also have a Tech Zero toolkit for guidance.

Better Futures is a CleanTech initiative that invests into technologies, goods and services that reduce negative impacts of climate change on the environment.

Built environment

BREEAM is a well-known sustainability assessment rating and certifying the sustainability of buildings, from new constructions, in use and refurbishment. They also have a range of tools to help you with BREEAM.

Built Environment Declares is a climate commitment specifically for all parts of construction and the built environment sector.

London Energy Transformation Initiative is a network of build environment professionals working to help push forward the net zero agenda. They have lots of resources available.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is a professional body that promotes and enforces global standards for the development and management of real estate and property. They have a sustainability focus, with an action agenda, and provide guidance and resources to help you on your net zero journey.

Supply Chain Sustainability School is a collaboration between clients, contractors and first tier suppliers who want to build the skills of their supply chain. They offer learning opportunities to members, which are free to anyone working, or aspiring to work, in the built environment sector. They also have resources on a range of topics available.

UK Green Building Council is a membership organisation that works to improve the sustainability of the built environment by transforming the whole process, from the way things are planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated. They have resources and events to help guide you.

World Green Building Council works to promote sustainable buildings and help lead the building and construction industry to a net zero future. They have thought leadership and news pieces available.

Better Buildings Partnership Climate Commitment is where businesses in the property industry can make a commitment to be net zero by 2050.

Hospitality

Green Street works to help small retail and hospitality businesses to reduce their environmental impact. They provide practical steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint.

Guardians of Grub works to drive change in the hospitality and food service industry through reducing food waste. They have practical resources, a food waste savings calculator and case studies to help guide you.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association works to drive change towards an environmentally restorative hospitality sector in the UK. They bring together businesses and people working in the sector to empower them to change the system faster.

Creative

Albert is driving climate action in the TV and film industry. They provide free training and resources to anyone in those industries, from measuring your carbon emissions for a production to ideas for sustainable production.

Common Objective is a business network for the fashion industry, with the aim to have a positive impact on the environment and people. They have a range of resources to inspire ideas for your net zero journey. There are free and fee paying elements.

Julie’s Bicycle is a not-for-profit organisation working with the arts and creative industries to drive net zero, climate action and wider environmental sustainability.

The World Resources Institute has produced a guide for the apparel and footwear sector on how to set science based targets and reduce carbon emissions.

Manufacturing

2030 calculator is a simple to use and free calculator where you can measure the carbon footprint of products. It includes the product, parts, packaging, and energy and transportation.

OECD has published a Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit which provides a practical advice for businesses to improve the efficiency of their production, processes and products.

This was last updated in September 2021 by Heart of the City. 

Climate for SMEs: 4 Steps to Action is funded by the City of London Corporation in support of its Climate Action Strategy targets for a net zero and resilient Square Mile.

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