Invited to speak at the event as a result of BE’s involvement in the Mayor of London’s Business Climate Challenge in Southwark, our CSR manager shared BE’s net zero journey with fellow SMEs.
As climate action gains momentum ahead of COP26, the net zero for SMEs session sought to explain the environmental, social, regulatory and commercial imperatives, and demonstrate why being a sustainable business makes business sense.
The business why
- To attract and retain talent – 79% of millennials are loyal to companies that care about their social impact
- Increased profitability – customers reward sustainable businesses and potentially will do less and less business with those who aren’t
- Future proofing – from understanding the long-term effects of social and environmental issues
- Increased cost savings – from energy bills, staff retention and increased financial security
- Greater transparency – leading to progress, collaboration, client trust and ultimately brand loyalty
- Competitive advantage – again from understanding the long-term effects of social and environmental issues
BE’s net zero journey began as far back as 2009 when we founded our Green Group. The group is made up of representatives from every area of the business and was formed to measure and challenge every process in our business that has an environmental impact, to make every one of those processes greener, more energy efficient and better for the environment.
BE Offices has aligned its CSR activities with 10 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, goals adopted in 2015 by all UN member states as an urgent call to action to tackle poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth – all the while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
Climate action initiatives
Goal number 13 specifically targets urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, and it is to this goal that BE has aligned multiple sustainability initiatives:
- 0% waste to landfill policy since 2015
- 95% of portfolio powered by renewably sourced energy
- £1m+ commitment to replacing all lighting to LEDs
- Investing in motion sensor lighting
- Data hosting on carbon-neutral servers
- Chemical free cleaning products
- Coffee grounds recycling
- Sustainable asset management
- Part of the Mayor of London’s Business Climate Challenge
- Cycle to work scheme
- Tree planting scheme
- Pledged to the SME Climate Hub
- Setting an ambitious target to achieve carbon neutral status by the end of 2025
With a plethora of free resources available now to help businesses with their decarbonisation process, as an ambassador organisation for Heart of the City, a City of London charity which supports SMEs with responsible business practice, BE Offices recommend their free resources which have been designed specifically for SMEs.
Other speakers at the afternoon session included representatives from the Department for International Trade, BT and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.