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 are best practice and 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 Foundations for Responsible Business programme. Continue your journey on this programme which has an environmental focus alongside people, community and purpose. You’ll have access to 1:1 support through a programme manager and learn from our ambassador experts at events.
Our ‘action plan – first steps’ resource links to lots of useful organisations.
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. You can also access past years’ conversion factors which are useful if you’re measuring a historic baseline year.
CarbonSaver scope 3 CO2e factors, sponsored by government department DEFRA, is where you can find purchased services and goods factors broken down into category levels for more accurate estimations.
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 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.
Use sustainable business directories to help you find sustainable procurement options – we’d still recommend you do some due diligence. ReLondon have a circular economy directory, and BluePatch hosts a sustainable business directory with a wide range of suppliers.
Zero Carbon Business is a platform to help SMEs with net zero, including guides and a page of external events.
The Chancery Lane Project is an international collaborative effort of lawyers to develop new contracts and model laws to help fight climate change. You can use their open access clauses in contracts and get involved with 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. Their tools and events will help you understand about the circular economy and implement practices within your business.
Wholegrain Digital is a sustainable web design agency. They have resources and blogs to help you improve your knowledge, measurement, and reduction of tech emissions, including a digital declutter toolkit. They also have a carbon calculator where you can measure the emissions of your website.
Ecograder has a tool where you can measure the impact and emissions of your website. It uses the same methodology as the Wholegrain digital calculator, but they also give you suggestions on how to improve your impact and reduce your emissions.
GreenView have a carbon calculator where you can measure hotel carbon footprints.
Carbon Trust have a useful resources page with guides to help you reduce your emissions, and reports to provide context and evidence to topical issues such as homeworking and video streaming. They also run education events, some are free.
EcoAct is a climate consultancy. They have a wide range of resources and factsheets 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.
Work with consultants to refine your carbon footprint measurement and net zero action plans. Green and Good Consulting is an example of a boutique consultancy specialising in strategy, communications and research.
Work with energy auditors to identify areas where you can make energy savings.
General: pledges, commitments and certifications
Race to Zero is a UN backed global campaign where you make a 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.
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. They also have some sector guidance.
The Climate Pledge is where you can make a commitment to achieve net zero by 2040 – then years ahead of the Paris Agreement. Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded the pledge.
Pledge to Net Zero is where you can make a commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest. Signing this commitment 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.
Business Declares is a network of businesses declaring a climate and ecological emergency and working to take purposeful action.
Planet Mark is a sustainability certification organisation that recognises continuous improvement in reducing your carbon footprint emissions. There are costs associated, but quote ‘Heart of the City’ when joining Planet Mark for 10% off your first year of certification.
General: offsetting and planet repair
Climeworks offers direct permanent carbon removal offsets. They have sites in Iceland and Switzerland.
Pinwheel works with a range of projects that remove carbon, restore habitats and protect biodiversity.
Location specific resources and pledges
Clean City Awards Scheme (CCAS) are awards for businesses in the City of London that also run best practice meetings to drive sustainability. They’re run by the City of London Corporation to help drive sustainable business, and you need to be a CCAS member to be involved.
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.
Zero Emissions Network is a network of businesses and residents in London’s City Fringe areas, providing initiatives to help you with net zero actions and solutions.
Cross River Partnership works across London and focuses on air quality, transport, placemaking and wellbeing. Their online tools include a clean air route for commutes and identifying logistic hubs.
Camden Climate Change Alliance is a not-for-profit membership network for businesses in Camden, with free and fee paying options. You’ll have access to tools and guides to help you measure and report your carbon footprint emissions.
Islington Sustainability Network is a fee paying 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 is a cost associated.
West London Business provides guidance and advice for businesses based in West London.
West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge is where businesses in the boundary can pledge to reach net zero by 2041.
Explore if your local business improvement district (BID) or Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has any net zero initiatives or projects.
Industry specific resources and pledges
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 commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest, and support investing aligned with net zero emissions by 2050.
Net Zero Insurance Alliance is an initiative where insurers can make a commitment to get their portfolios to net zero by 2050. They’ve released a target setting protocol to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy.
Partnerships for Carbon Accounting Financials is a global partnership of financial institutions that work to develop and implement a coordinated approach to assess and disclose emissions associated with loans and investments.
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, and they have a carbon calculator for paying members.
Better Futures is a CleanTech initiative that invests into technologies, goods and services that reduce negative impacts of climate change on the 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. They also have sub-sector commitments for; architects, building service engineers, civil engineers, contractors, interior design, landscape architects, project managers and structural engineers.
ConcreteZero and SteelZero are pledges to improve the industry’s approach to embodied carbon, through setting industry-level targets and creating a reporting standard. The Climate Group, World GBC and WBCSD launched the pledges.
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, and have resources on a range of topics.
Plant Charter is a declaration, founded by the Supply Chain Sustainability School, to take action to reduce air quality impacts and carbon emissions of plant equipment.
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.
Better Buildings Partnership Climate Commitment is where businesses in the property industry can make a commitment to be net zero by 2050.
National Federation of Builders have a handbook called Transforming construction: delivering a low carbon future, with practical tools for main contractors to accelerate their net zero journey.
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.
Sustainable Hospitality Alliance brings together businesses to tackle issues including climate change and net zero. They have resources available to help you with practical steps to help you on your net zero journey.
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.
Clean Creatives is a climate pledge to ‘cut ties with fossil fuel’ specifically for all creative industries.
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.
Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment represents the UK’s live music business and bring lots of the industry’s trade associations together. They have a green focus and webinars available. You can also access the different member trade associations and explore the resources and guidance they provide.
Common Objective is a business network, with free and fee paying options, for the fashion industry. It aims to have a positive impact on the environment and people. They have a range of resources to inspire ideas for your net zero journey.
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.
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.