A pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050 and half emissions by 2030 has seen Leeds-headquartered Bailie Group invited to 10 Downing Street to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, as part of a select group of small and micro companies from across the UK.
CEO Fergus Bailie and COO Philip Walter made the trip to the capital to coincide with the launch of the Government’s Together for our Planet ‘Business Climate Leaders’ campaign – which urges small businesses to cut their emissions to net zero, no later than 2050.
Bailie Group has announced bold yet detailed plans to achieve this at least two decades earlier. As a result, the communications specialist has now been recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero initiative and named a climate leader. The team is in good company too, with over 40 UK FTSE 100 companies already signed up.
The company’s decarbonisation efforts have already included installing LED lights with PIR sensors throughout the whole of its recently refurbished Riverside House HQ at Canal Wharf Leeds; replacing gas boilers with air source heating and providing all staff with reusable water bottles and coffee mugs to negate the use of disposables.
In addition to a cycle to work scheme, staff are provided with season ticket loans for public transport, plus all diesel vehicles have been removed from Bailie Group’s fleet and electric vehicle charging points installed.
Such carbon reduction tactics will be enhanced by an offsetting strategy too, with the firm having recently joined the Country Land & Business Association to explore options including planting trees across the nation, investing in natural capital and supporting the annual tree planting event organised by the Woodland Trust.
CEO Fergus Bailie said: “As an organisation, our purpose is to invest in people and ideas that make a positive difference. As such – and because the climate crisis is now recognised as the most fundamental challenge of this decade – sustainability is at the heart of what we do and how we do it.
“We are ISO14001 certified and have made the SME Climate Commitment. But we knew we could do more, so have accelerated our green initiatives and aim to become carbon neutral by at least 2050.
We are currently baselining our emissions to develop a plan of carbon reduction, and if we can accelerate this, then we will. With six million small businesses in the UK making up 99 per cent of the nation’s enterprises, the role that we all play in driving change, is huge – and it’s all about taking small but significant steps.”
Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and as we transition to a green future, they will also be the backbone of the UK tackling climate change.”
Roger pollen from the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The most successful businesses are those that seize a distinct competitive advantage by responding to constant change. Those that embrace the change, harness green technology, and adapt, will not only be environmentally sustainable but can also generate prosperity through clean growth.”
The Government has also launched the UK Business Climate Hub to support the country’s organisations with their environmental efforts. The unveiling of the Together for our Planet campaign marks the countdown to the UN Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow, this November – the government’s UK-wide campaign that is encouraging people from across society to engage in climate action.