Grosvenor Property UK – which owns and manages commercial premises including multiple retail sites in London’s West End – has helped its suppliers gain Science Based Targets to support their carbon reduction work.
Some 28 small to medium-sized enterprises (SME) are set to gain Science Based Targets in the next few months thanks to a free mentoring programme established by Grosvenor.
Science Based Targets are the globally recognised gold standard carbon reduction pledge, and Grosvenor created an eight-month programme to help others, after gaining its own Science Based Target in 2021.
Delivered by business development network, Heart of The City, the scheme is helping Grosvenor suppliers with fewer than 500 employees map and reduce their carbon footprint. Companies involved include architects, and construction and maintenance firms.
It is quite rare for smaller businesses to gain Science Based Target status; it is usually reserved for other organisations, and in retail that includes companies such as Tesco, Burberry and B&Q parent Kingfisher.
The mentoring programme involves workshops, clinic sessions and one-to-one mentoring in calculating suppliers’ carbon baselines, as well as setting respective action plans and submissions for validated Science Based Targets.
Reasons small businesses gave for joining the scheme included low internal resource and knowledge around sustainability, as well as gaining support and peer group networking opportunities. They also identified the potential to meet future client demand for aligned net zero committed partners.
Victoria Herring, sustainability programme director at Grosvenor, commented: “Our SME partners are incredibly supportive of our environmental ambitions, but they don’t have the resources of larger businesses.
“Transformative partnerships are a key part of our own net zero ambition. And, as a critical part of our supply chain we created this programme to help SMEs on their journey but also to support them in remaining competitive with clients.”
She added: “The response has been fantastic and we’re proud to be contributing significantly to the number of SMEs with Science Based Targets. We’ll be looking at how we can expand the programme to support other parts of our value chain.”
Maggie Berry, director at Heart of the City, said “We know that net zero isn’t an easy topic for SMEs – they have limited resources to dedicate to sustainability and are facing many current business challenges.
“But we also know that SMEs are fundamental to the UK’s economy and as a country, we won’t reach net zero unless all businesses can make changes.”
[Image credit: Green Retail World]