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First Companies Gain Audited Carbon Accounts on Net Zero Accelerator

  • Net Zero Accelerator is a 12-month community-led journey for SMEs to master, measure, manage, monetise and maintain the reduction of carbon emissions in their business

  • Independently audited carbon accounts can be used to bid for tenders and open up new commercial opportunities

Falkirk, Scotland, 29th September 2022

Social Enterprise Net Zero Nation Ltd is celebrating as the first companies on their flagship programme, the Net Zero Accelerator create their carbon accounts and fully commit to reducing carbon emissions in their business. Scotland has a target of reaching Net Zero by 2045. To achieve this, we need to get Scottish SMEs on board as they account for 42% of Scotland’s carbon emission. Net Zero is still perceived as just another thing for businesses to do, instead of something that can not only make your business stronger but open up commercial opportunities too.

The Net Zero Accelerator launched in March 2022. It provides a cost-effective and time-efficient solution for busy SMEs who don’t have a full-time sustainability professional within the organisation.

Designed by SMEs for SMEs, it offers group-based learning with 10 other SMEs to learn from and share progress. Focusing on a managed Net Zero journey, the programme offers carbon training to help your workforce master the fundamentals of Net Zero along with expert advice to help SMEs create their carbon benchmark.

Rob Woolford, Supply Chain Specialist of Scott Direct, a PPE, workwear and power tools supplier in Stirling highlighted the benefits of this approach:

"The Net Zero Accelerator has a straightforward process to help you measure your carbon emissions. Once you know what data to collect, it’s simple to gather it for the carbon benchmark. While what we’ve measured is a small part of our whole emissions, this allows us to start measuring our scope 3 emissions in more depth. The group learning process gave us insight into what other businesses were doing and helped us learn more effectively about Net Zero together."

As part of the Net Zero Accelerator, SMEs receive a 12-month subscription to the CBN Expert Carbon Accountancy Platform, which is specifically designed to make carbon accounting simple for SMEs. After inputting 12 months of data into the platform, SMEs are then able to use the data to develop a carbon reduction plan and create an independently verified Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) compliant report.

Jamie Burns, Managing Director of Ayrshire business Ailsa Reliability Solutions, which improves reliability and efficiency in energy delivery highlighted the benefits of embedding Net Zero into his business said:

“Being part of the Net Zero Accelerator has given us more valuable information and insight into Net Zero and where we want to go as a business. By using the software and the systems provided we can now take control of our own destiny within our own Net Zero journey and start to have measurable data on what we’re doing in our day-to-day operations. One of our targets is to help our clients improve their carbon consumption and, with our increased knowledge on Net Zero, we can now support the industries we work in more effectively.”

With over 364,000 SMEs in Scotland who are responsible for creating 42% of Scotland’s carbon emissions, mass mobilisation is needed if Scotland is to meet its 2045 Net Zero target. Yet according to a recent Citizens Advice poll, 60% of SMEs think that Net Zero is not applicable, relevant or affordable to them.

This highlights a lack of awareness in legislation and changes to tendering processes. Companies with more than 250 employees and £36m in turnover are already required to measure their carbon emissions. As part of this, they are passing responsibility to the companies in their supply chain. From 2023, all publicly listed companies will be required to report on their carbon emissions.

Amy Britton, Managing Director of Amy Britton Harris Tweed® Accessories in Stirlingshire had this advice for SMEs:

“As a small business, if you want to stay in the supply chain of bigger businesses then you need to be proactive and measure your carbon emissions before it becomes compulsory. The Net Zero Accelerator is a well guided journey to help you start your Net Zero journey and inspire you to reduce your carbon emissions. It makes you think about all the elements of your business more carefully. The team are knowledgeable, attentive and committed to your success.”

Additionally, more and more tenders are asking for a company’s sustainability and carbon credentials as part of the scoring process. We are already seeing a number of companies losing out on tenders or having contracts cancelled because they cannot demonstrate their carbon credentials. As we move towards a 50% reduction of carbon emissions by 2030, this trend will only increase.

Maggie Gorman, Business Support & Development Director of Ceteris, a property management company, in Clackmannanshire stated:

“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. As a result, we have been able to involve other employees within the organisation on our journey and easily implement activities to help with our carbon reduction plan. We are also now able to use our independently audited carbon benchmark in all the tenders that we now submit to demonstrate our carbon credentials.”

Companies that start their Net Zero journey now have the ability to become thought leaders in their industry and open up new commercial opportunities. As awareness of our current ecological crisis continues to grow, market trends show a growing number of companies who only want to do business with those who are committed to positively impacting the planet.

Aimee Doole, Strategy, Communications and Marketing Head at Booth Welsh, an Ayrshire engineering firm commented:

“The Net Zero Accelerator isn’t a light touch green programme. It focuses on helping us to accurately map and measure our Carbon data, take ownership of our Net Zero targets and lay the foundation for an action focused strategy. We are delighted to have achieved our first set of audited Carbon accounts which is a big step forward in benchmarking where we are and where we want to go. The programme itself has also allowed us to take an experimental learning approach on our sustainability journey, tapping into a new network and realising the business opportunities that can be gained from a planet positive way mindset and way of operating.”

Net Zero Nation Ltd is a social enterprise aimed at mobilising the 364,000 Scottish Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) on their journey to Net Zero. Founded in July 2021 as a company limited by guarantee instead of share capital, this reflects the organisation’s social purpose to tackle climate change. Surplus funds after costs are paid are reinvested into Net Zero and regenerative practices.

For further information contact Tabitha Jayne

1 Comment

great work

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