This was the view of Ricky Bond, one of the Net Zero Leaders at Ceteris who joined the Net Zero Nation Accelerator programme back in March. Net Zero Nation is a Scottish based social enterprise formed as a result of the success of the Scottish Net Zero Community, a collaboration between the Scottish Business Network and CBN Expert, set up for SMEs to collaborate on Net Zero goals which currently has over 1100 members. The Net Zero Nation Accelerator programme is a unique initiative designed to mobilise SMEs towards Net Zero.
Ceteris Limited, themselves are based in Central Scotland, and are commercial landlords offering commercial and industrial workspace plus offering business support and guidance in the form of professional support through events and training.
Ricky tells us that the company has had ambitions to reduce their effect on the climate for some while, having launched a Green Team initiative where they ran energy awareness programmes for their tenants. However, he admits that it was difficult to keep track of any of the important data as it was dispersed amongst spreadsheets which were located in six or seven different places. Therefore, making sense of the data proved really difficult. They also felt that they weren’t getting the “buy-in” to their existing plans from employees or clients as they wanted.
The team at Ceteris have recently noticed a behavioural change in attitudes about addressing climate change in recent times. Ricky tells us, “Over the last six months there had been a real increase in tenants asking for help and advice on how they can become Net Zero.” They acknowledged that they needed some guidance on how to do this and that’s why they turned to the Accelerator.
"The Net Zero Accelerator is a practical and useful program that has allowed us to benchmark our carbon reduction and monitor this through the carbon accounting dashboard."
Maggie Gorman, Business Support and Development Director
Back in March 2022, Ceteris joined a cohort of seven companies on the Accelerator programme which gave them access to the CBN Expert carbon accounting software, an independently audited accreditation through future Net Zero and specialist advice from a network of partners. The initiative also offers members the opportunity to publicly pledge their commitment to achieving Net Zero under the United Nations Race to Zero campaign of which they are a member.
Just a few months in Ricky and his team are already seeing the benefits across their business. “ Carbon reduction is becoming integral to a business. In order to become a responsible landlord we need to help our tenants save carbon as well as money. We are becoming a frontrunner in carbon reduction within our area and this is having a knock on effect for our tenants with many of them beginning their own carbon journeys.”
The team at Ceteris credits the CBN Expert carbon accounting software as an invaluable part of the Accelerator programme. They agree that the software is straightforward to use and the visuals on the dashboard makes the data easy to understand and so everyone knows where the company is at. Maggie Gorman, Business Support and Development Director tells us that the dashboard “allows us to benchmark our carbon reduction and monitor it going forward.”
They are already seeing the benefits of having such comprehensive data as they have been able to take it to their board to support their pitch for investment in solar panels across their properties.
Another major benefit of the Accelerator is however, according to Ricky, being part of the cohort with other businesses. “We meet up and share information and learn together. The support is amazing and we all have different expertise we bring to the group. It would have been difficult to this much on our own.”
Additionally support comes from the network of expert partners that the Accelerator provides. Ceteris have been working with the team at Net Zero International who are having regular updates to provide pragmatic guidance on actions they can take to reduce their carbon across the group.
All the data that is gathered through the software is independently audited by the future Net Zero Standard which Ceteris agrees legitimises everything they are working towards, shows true commitment and makes what they are doing more official. According to Maggie, this has tangible benefits across the business – “We are now able to use our independently audited carbon benchmark in all the tenders that we now submit to demonstrate our carbon credentials.” Making a pledge using the United Nations Race to Zero programme also adds to the commitment being undertaken.
The movement to reduce carbon has really taken effect, with staff company-wide engaged in the effort. Company newsletters keep everyone informed on initiatives so that the impact is visible and for new starters in Ceteris, the drive for sustainability is now part of their induction process.
Looking forward, the team at Ceteris are excited about the opportunities in the future with lots of initiatives being discussed about how to proceed with their Net Zero journey, from considering renewable energy sources to reviewing their procurement policies to source more local products and services.
“Sustainability really is at the heart of the company.”
For further information about how you can join the Net Zero Nation Accelerator email: email@example.com