Business Carbon reduction – 2022 report and plan for 2023
Climate change is an existential threat to our planet, the human race and our way of life. It is also creating wide injustices across the world. We want to be part of the solution, rather than one of the causes of the problem. The UK government has committed to businesses becoming net zero by 2050, in line with the global Paris Agreement to limit climate change to less than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels – the limit which scientists say is required to prevent catastrophic, uncontrollable climate change.
Businesses can have an enormous influence on their various stakeholders – suppliers, customers, competitors, and employees. We urge other businesses to make plans to reduce and eliminate their carbon emissions, because together, we can all make a big impact. Small and medium sized businesses make up most of the UK business stock (and our customers), and no one is too small to have an influence.
Climate change demands urgent and universal action. In 2021, Everflow was the first retailer to make all our customers’ water and wastewater supplies carbon neutral. We also signed The Climate Pledge, which commits us to being net zero carbon by 2040 across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 of the GHG Protocol - ten years ahead of The Paris Agreement (2050).
As part of this, we will:
- Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions at least annually
- Implement decarbonisation strategies through real business change and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies (See how below.)
- Neutralise any of our remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets.
Our ambition is to achieve net zero for our own operations before 2030. Water and wastewater wholesalers also plan to reach net zero for their operational emissions before 2030.
Business Carbon Reduction 2022 Activities completed
- Our 2021 operational emissions were 829tonnes CO2e. This increased from 509 in 2020 because we have reported our air conditioning more accurately and doubled our employee numbers during 2021. We expect our emissions to increase as we grow as customers transfer from less sustainable legacy retailers, but we aim to reduce our intensity metrics (emissions per employee or £ revenue – see SBTs below).
- Continued to keep a close eye on water consumption in our offices while our business grew, fixing two leaking toilets
- Continued to promote water saving to our customers by offering free water saving surveys and advice, and selling various products and services to help them save water
- Worked with wholesalers to actively inform customers with suspected leaks and encourage them to fix them
- Continued to lobby government (DEFRA’s Strategic Policy Statement), regulators (Ofwat’s Draft Methodology, Ofwat’s Retail Exit Code, MOSL’s reforms to the Market Performance Framework) and wholesalers (draft Water Resource Management Plans) to prioritise and adequately fund water efficiency activity for business customers
- Issued advice to all our employees on how to save transport fuel and energy when travelling and working from home, as well as in the office
- Contacted all our supply chain to inform them about our ambitions, offer them training on how to calculate and reduce their own emissions and ask them to tell us about their plans, indicating that this will be important in our future procurement decisions. More than three quarters of our own 2021 carbon footprint fell into Scope 3 of the GHG Protocol generated by our supply chain partners. Our customers’ average monthly footprint for their water and wastewater supplies from wholesalers was 692t.
- Encouraged and enabled our employees to car share for commuting and business travel through a matching service
- Launched our salary sacrifice Electric Vehicle scheme for our employees
- Introduced a new policy to support hybrid working, to reduce employee commuting
- Set medium term (2026) Science Based Targets for our net zero strategy, as follows:
- Increase renewable electricity from 0% to 100%
- 90% of suppliers by spend covering purchased goods and services will have a net zero plan, ideally to SBTs, on their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions
-90% suppliers engaged about reducing carbon emissions
- 50% customers engaged about reducing utilities usage
- Reduce Scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions 70% per employee
- Reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50% overall.
Business Carbon Reduction 2023 Activities planned
To reduce our own operational emissions, as well as those of our customers, this year we are:
- Implementing our long-term Sustainability Strategy, with hard targets for achieving sustainable services and the way we operate
- Releasing a new benchmarking tool so that SMEs can compare their utilities consumption to similar sized and sectors of businesses to encourage them to reduce their usage and invest to save money
- Investigating sources of funding for investment in utilities saving and how we can make accessing them as simple as possible for our customers
- Completing our HQ move to a more sustainable site, including going off the gas grid, renewable energy options, safe cycling routes, good public transport links and fast EV charging points for our employees
- Creating a new travel and expenses policy to state preferences for low emissions options, such as transport (e.g., trains or EV hire and car sharing) and hotels (e.g. those with best net zero strategies)
- Launching a sustainable procurement policy to help employees prioritise and weigh up different aspects of sustainability when buying products and services, whether at work or at home
- Completing a B-Corp assessment to ensure our business is a source for good and identify further ways to benefit people and the environment.
We welcome any opportunities for collaboration, co-ordination, or support on reducing our emissions and those of our supply chain.
For an informal discussion on how we are reducing carbon emissions for our customers and any more information on our business carbon reduction plan for 2023, please contact email@example.com