BITC Supports Companies in their Efforts to Tackle Climate Change
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Ten years ago, Business in the Community (BITC) hosted the Mayday Network launched by the Prince of Wales with an aim to address the global climate change challenge. Significant progress has been made in the ensuing 10 years with leading companies integrating environmental sustainability into business strategy.
BITC has now produced a report, Smart Growth: Achieving the 2°C economy, which maps the journey of its member companies on the path of global sustainability over the last 10 years. The report highlights where the best businesses are on this journey right now, and identifies the key challenges and opportunities for smart growth.
BITC CEO Amanda Mackenzie, OBE, said that the report, informed by 30 detailed interviews and key data, documents what UK businesses are doing both to address climate change and become net carbon neutral. The report, prepared in partnership with Bean Research, tracks how BITC members have taken the sustainability agenda forward through their climate change policies, practices, approaches and adaptation.
The business case for climate action has moved from efficiency and cost savings towards longer-term risk profiling, adaptation and investment in low carbon technology. It will be companies that see tackling climate change as part of futureproofing their business that prosper in this changing world.
BITC has identified eight themes which sustainability experts in business consider key for the next 10 years. These include:
- Energy security and renewables
- Scope 3 emissions: working with customers and suppliers
- Science-based targets
- An innovative and digital future
- Future proofing the business
- Societal sustainability
- Accounting for climate change
- Collaborative action
BITC Members on the Path to Sustainability
Marks & Spencer launched their first climate change targets as part of Plan A in 2007. Marks & Spencer UK and ROI operations became Carbon Neutral in 2012, and extended to worldwide in 2014. Today, M&S remains the world’s only major carbon neutral retailer.
Dairy Crest has made good progress in reducing GHG emissions from energy used in manufacturing with relative emissions reducing by more than 30 percent in the last 5 years.
Hilton Worldwide has achieved over 23 percent carbon reduction across their portfolio of hotels in the last 10 years.
BT achieved an 81 percent reduction in its climate stabilization intensity (CSI) measure in 2015-16 compared to a 1996-97 baseline. Since 2013, BT has helped its customers reduce carbon emissions by 1.6 times the impact of its business, making BT a net positive carbon company.
Adnams conducted an in-depth carbon footprint analysis of every aspect of the brewing process. By 2015, the company had gone on to assess the carbon footprint of their cask, bottled and canned beer. They then took this environmental footprinting further by assessing their water footprint which is now being used to inform future business planning.
Linklaters are proud of their One Silk Street premises, a ‘BREEAM In-Use ‘Excellent’ rated building where carbon emissions have been reduced by 42 percent relative to 10 years ago.
Ricoh developed ‘GreenLine’ which aims to minimize the environmental impact of raw materials input by life-extending existing products.
Land Securities launched Sustainability Matters training for staff to encourage the whole business to get behind their ambitions. This ranged from e-learning (with 95 percent staff now having participated) to three half day programs for specific functions.
Walgreens Boots Alliance
Over a decade ago, Boots (now WBA) set up a fund to which line management could apply if the cost of ‘doing the right thing’ was more expensive than like for like replacements. As individual cases were made, the business began to see that attention to carbon reduced running costs. The investment was net positive.
GSK has been working to reduce emissions from their entire value chain while extending access to their products for the people who need them. For example, more than 350 of their suppliers now use their award-winning online Supplier Exchange Platform to share best practice on reducing carbon emissions.
Anglian Water Group (AWG) ran internal workshops and carbon masterclasses for all engineers to demonstrate that reducing carbon reduces cost. Innovation started to emerge and generated real reductions. AWG has achieved a 54 percent capital carbon reduction in five years.
Since 2007, by transitioning its generation mix to predominantly low-carbon nuclear power, EDF Energy has reduced the carbon intensity of its electricity generation by over 90 percent.
Veolia is Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year 2016-2017. Its core business strategy ‘Resourcing the World’ aims to develop access to, preserve and replenish resources on a global scale.
Tesco committed to the long-term goal of becoming a zero-carbon business by 2050 and worked with the Carbon Trust to identify the steps needed each decade to achieving that.
The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) has worked with the world’s leading hotel groups for the past 25 years, producing resources and supporting them to drive greater sustainability throughout the industry.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan launched in 2010 aimed to decouple growth from environmental impacts. Unilever’s sustainable living brands are growing 30 percent faster than the rest of the business and delivered nearly half its total growth in 2015.
Costain has launched a revolutionary new tool designed to reduce the environmental impact of the construction and infrastructure sectors, which currently accounts for more than 50 percent of the UK’s emissions.
In 2017, Sodexo will be launching their revised Better Tomorrow 2025, which will be launched at a global level and integrate the UN Global Goals requiring collaboration across countries with differing legislation, environmental and economic drivers.
BITC has set ambitious goals for the next five years to support all BITC members to align their businesses to contribute to a restorative, 2°C economy and work with leading companies to support 5,000 businesses to act on energy, resources and climate resilience through value chains and in places.
Source and Image: BITC