The real estate giant Grosvenor Property claims 28 businesses throughout its supply chain will have validated Science-Based Targets in place in the coming months, after participating in a free mentoring scheme.
Run by Grosvenors charity partner, Heart of the City, participant firms benefited from workshops, clinic sessions, and one-to-one mentoring support, with architects, building surveyors and contractors, security, recruitment, construction, and maintenance firms alike having all taken part. As a result, the companies have calculated their baseline emissions, set individual action plans, and submitted targets for validation by Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) within the coming months.
Speaking of the recent success, Maggie Berry, director, Heart of the City, said “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. 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.”
The proposed plans would result in an estimated 55,000 tonnes of carbon reduction by 2030, equivalent to heating 23,000 UK homes for a year and goes some way supporting Gosvenor with its own climate targets.
At the time of publishing, only 140 UK small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have validated near-term targets with the SBTi. With Grosvenor’s 28 participants having already committed to gaining validation, the programme could increase the number of small independent businesses with Science-Based Targets by 20% if approved.
Grosvenor UK set its own climate targets for 2030 that were verified by the SBTi in 2021. It later signed on to the SBTi’s more stringent ‘net zero standard’, a first for the European property sector. The standard requires the firm to reduce emissions across all scopes by at least 90% by its deadline of 2040, against its target baseline of 2019. This includes Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, which present a greater challenge than both Scope 1 & 2 due to the lack of control an entity has over partner organisations.
“Our SME partners are incredibly supportive of our environmental ambitions, but they don’t have the resources of larger businesses” said Victoria Herring, Grosvenor’s sustainability programme director. “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 news comes not long after a poll conducted by Balfour Beatty and the Supply Chain Sustainability School, found only 12% of 270 construction firms from across the UK believe they will meet the 2050 net zero target.
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