We’ve helped the number of UK SMEs with science based targets jump 20%

Heart of the City | 9 January 2023 | News
We’ve helped the number of UK SMEs with science based targets jump 20%

28 small and medium sized companies (SMEs) are set to gain a Science Based Target, the globally recognised gold standard carbon reduction pledge, in the next few months thanks to a free mentoring programme we delivered for Grosvenor Property UK’s SME suppliers.

Building on the business’ experience of gaining a validated Science Based Target in 2021, we worked with Grosvenor to create a free, eight month programme delivered by us to help their suppliers with less than 500 employees, map and reduce their own carbon footprint.

Just 140** UK SMEs have validated near-term targets with the Science Based Targets initiative. With 28 participants committing to gaining validation, this programme will increase the number of small independent businesses with Science Based Targets by around 20%.

Companies including architects, building surveyors and contractors, security, recruitment, construction and maintenance firms gained support across workshops, clinic sessions and 1:1 mentoring in calculating their baseline, setting an action plan and submitting for a validated Science Based Target.

Having baselined their emissions and now committed to achieving a near term Science Based Target, the programme will support the companies in abating an estimated 55,000 tonnes of carbon by 2030, equivalent to heating 23,000 UK homes for a year.

Reasons for joining included low internal resource and knowledge around sustainability, gaining support and peer group networking opportunities as well as ability to meet future client demand for aligned net zero committed partners.

Victoria Herring, Sustainability Programme Director, Grosvenor, commented “Our SME partners are incredibly supportive of our environmental ambitions, but they don’t have the resources of larger businesses. Transformative partnerships are a key part of our own net zero ambition. And, as a critical part of our supply chain we created this programme to help SMEs on their journey but also to support them in remaining competitive with clients.

“The response has been fantastic and we’re proud to be contributing significantly to the number of SMEs with Science Based Targets. We’ll be looking at how we can expand the programme to support other parts of our value chain.”

Maggie Berry OBE, Director, Heart of the City, said “I’m so pleased that at Heart of the City, we’ve been able to help the SMEs in Grosvenor’s supply chain to achieve a science based target. We know that net zero isn’t an easy topic for SMEs – they have limited resources to dedicate to sustainability and are facing many current business challenges. But we also know that SMEs are fundamental to the UK’s economy and as a country, we won’t reach net zero unless all businesses can make changes.

“That’s why I’m so happy that Grosvenor, as an ambassador for Heart of the City, wanted to commit to helping their SMEs through this mentoring programme. I hope this project will inspire other bigger businesses to think about how they too can offer this kind of practical support to the smaller companies they work with, and I look forward to partnering with those businesses to help more SMEs across the UK make similar steps towards net zero.”

Sam Field, Director – Murray Birrell Chartered Surveyors – the first SME from the programme to achieve a validated target commented“Murray Birrell are extremely proud to be part of the Science Based Targets initiative.  As a busy SME with limited resources and lack of designated qualified manpower in this discipline, Grosvenor’s initiative has enabled us to commence our pathway to achieving net zero. The scheme has provided us with the calculation tools, support, and motivation to measure our baseline and to create an action plan for moving forwards towards our target. Grosvenor’s invitation to join them on this wonderful initiative has been both invaluable and inspiring.”

Rachael Owens, Head of Sustainability, Buckley Gray Yeoman added: “Thanks to Grosvenor’s support we’ve been able to accelerate the rate at which we’ve scoped our emissions and put targets in place.

“All companies are faced with a mammoth task, and the best intentions won’t be enough. We’re part of an ecosystem in which we’re all connected by our impact on this planet. Science Based Targets are essential in holding ourselves and each other to account and are fundamental to giving practices like ours that ‘north star’ to guide our decision making.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Grosvenor for the support and for nudging us into taking some very big first steps. Our carbon reduction plan will be published by the end of this year.”

Grosvenor’s UK property business has some of the most stretching environmental sustainability targets in its sector. As the first European property company with a long term Science Based Target, it is committed to reducing emissions by 90% by 2040. With supply chain emissions accounting for almost 50% of the business’ carbon footprint between 2019 and 2030, working with partners committed to net zero will be a critical success factor.

By 2030, the business expects 40% of its supply chain by emissions to have a Science Based Target and aims to only award contracts over £1 million to partners with a Science Based Target.

But success isn’t achieved by placing excessive demands on suppliers’ businesses, and Grosvenor takes a partnership approach. The launch of the first of its kind programme is one step it is taking in supporting its varied supply chain in taking climate action.

Our biggest congratulations to the SMEs submitting for, or now with, a validated (+) Science Based Target *:

  • AKT II
  • Buckley Gray Yeoman+
  • Edward Pearce LLP
  • Elliott Wood
  • Environmental Dimension Partnership
  • Exigere
  • Gaysha Ltd
  • GDM
  • Hurst Pierce + Malcolm
  • ISS UK
  • Jackson Lift Group
  • Knight Harwood Limited
  • Knight Protection Ltd
  • Leslie Clark Construction Consultants
  • Mason Navarro Pledge
  • Morgan Spencer
  • Murray Birrell Ltd+
  • PJ Harte Limited
  • Pi Group+
  • SW Bruce & Co Ltd
  • Taylor Project Services LLP
  • Terence O’Rourke
  • TF Architecture Ltd
  • The Lift Consultancy+
  • Thompson Cole Limited
  • Trident Building Consultancy
  • Tuffin Ferraby Taylor LLP
  • Useful Studio

*Some of Grosvenor’s SME suppliers already have a Science Based Target or are preparing independently to achieve one.
** Correct as at 4 January 2023

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