Simon Heppner – having worked in climate strategy for 15 years and co-founded The Sustainable Restaurant Association, Simon had a deep understanding of both the complexities of reaching Net Zero for major organisations and the realities of life as an SME and could see the need to create a sector-specific solution that would work across businesses large and small.
Neil Ross Russell – after 20 years as a management consultant across multiple industries, Neil understood firstly that to engage SMEs the solution needed to be simple, credible and affordable, but also that what is true of restaurant sector is true of all sectors – each has a long tail of SMEs, similarly structured with similar sources of emissions.
Giles Gibbons – having founded Good Business, the UK’s first dedicated sustainability consulting firm, 25 years ago, Giles has worked with a wide variety of large corporates to help develop and implement sustainability and climate strategies.
These insights have led us to take a sector-led approach – investing our climate expertise alongside the sector knowledge and experience of relevant industry bodies, industry influencers and larger businesses to reach a consensus around what Net Zero means in practice for businesses in each sector.
We call these “Sector Protocols” – sector-specific definitions of Net Zero that not only provide clarity as to how businesses in the sector can reach Net Zero and the confidence they need to start the journey, but also a consistent standard against which businesses efforts to reach Net Zero can be assessed.
Each Sector Protocol is reflected in the Net Zero Now platform, allowing businesses to follow a dedicated, sector-specific path to Net Zero using the tools provided on the platform to Calculate, Reduce and Compensate for their GHG Emissions.
Businesses that meet the criteria laid out in the Sector Protocol will receive certification of that achievement in the form of the Registered Net Zero Now Certification Mark, celebrating their achievement and allowing them to communicate their Net Zero status to customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders.
The global scientific community agrees that reaching Net Zero is the best chance we have of managing global warming and keeping to 1.5°C only pathway.
It is vital that SMEs are included in this journey – in the UK, they represent c.99% of all businesses, c.61% of all employees and c.50% of all business-related Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
Understanding how to calculate and reduce the GHG emitted by a business, and how to compensate for emissions they can’t avoid, requires specialist climate knowledge which is out of reach for most SMEs.
One size does not fit all – the source and scale of emissions caused by a restaurant are very different to those of an ad agency, a retailer or a hair salon. Each sector needs a dedicated solution.
Businesses that lead the way on the journey to Net Zero should be celebrated and held up as an example for those that follow.