Mitie, Centrica Business Solutions, Anthesis,and Drax all debut new offerings this week, as corporates reiterate their commitment to climate action
A number of the UK's leading green consultancies have this week unveiled new services, as they look to support continuing corporate efforts to slash carbon emissions.
A poll this week of around 100 top corporates affiliated with the Climate Group's RE100, EV100, and EP100 campaigns found that the overwhelming majority were confident the coronavirus crisis would not dent their various sustainability commitments.
As such, thousands of companies are expected to exit lockdown conditions with a renewed commitment to accelerating progress against their sustainability goals and this week a number of the UK's leading consultancies launched new services designed to help them.
For example, Mitie announced the launch of a new Zero Carbon for Zero Cost service to "help businesses drive a green recovery" as part of its Plan Zero commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2025.
The firm also published research showing that while 56 per cent of businesses increased their focus on cutting carbon emissions in 2019, a third said cost is still more important than carbon when it comes to energy purchasing decisions.
With many businesses now expected to be under increased budgetary pressure as the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues, Mitie said its Zero Carbon for Zero Cost service had been developed to "support organisations with ambitious net zero carbon emissions targets that have limited budgets to upgrade, replace or install new assets".
The service focuses on demonstrating the cost savings of investments by deploying efficiency solutions that offer a quick payback alongside affordable funding options that mean that over the lifetime of new systems there is zero cost to the business.
Potential solutions include upgrading HVAC and lighting systems, replacing fossil fuel boilers with renewable heating solutions or generating electricity through renewable sources, deploying renewable energy battery storage solutions, and enhancing environmental reporting and compliance processes.
"We've all seen the positive effect that lockdown has had on our environment, however, as restrictions begin easing so will these benefits," said Carlo Alloni, managing director for technical services and integrated facilities management at Mitie. "As companies get back to business and we all adjust to a new normal, now is an ideal time to ensure that green thinking is leading the UK's economic recovery.
"To meet ambitious net zero carbon commitments every business must ensure carbon reduction is at the centre of their plans to help fuel a green, clean recovery in the UK. While many business leaders may think prioritising carbon will be expensive, it doesn't need to cost the earth."
The move came in the same week as Centrica Business Solutions (CBS) announced it has extended its range of financing options with the launch of an Energy as a Service bundle that includes the design, installation, and financing of on-site power generation.
The energy giant said the new service would offer businesses seeking greater control over their energy usage "guaranteed cost savings without the need for upfront capital expenditure on equipment".
Through the service CBS would design, install, and maintain energy solutions, such as combined heat and power units, alongside the supply of gas and top-up electricity, to deliver guaranteed energy savings. Projects would then be repaid from the energy savings made over the contract term, while simultaneously ensuring reduced energy costs for the customer from the outset.
"By delivering significant cash savings in the short term, [the service] aims to help businesses to recover more quickly from the COVID-19 shutdown," CBS said. "Such savings can then be used to fund additional carbon saving measures - such as solar PV, energy efficiency measures and electric vehicle (EV) enablement - which typically take longer to make a return on investment."
"For many organisations, the last few months have been extremely challenging and so reducing costs and improving business resilience will be critical to recovery," said Alan Barlow, director of UK and Ireland at the company. "By helping with the upfront investment in energy solutions, we can support them towards improved energy security and cost savings. Our aim is to support customers who wish to Build Back Better, by transitioning to a sustainable future without the need for significant capital."
Meanwhile, environmental consultancy Anthesis announced this week that it has teamed up with behavioural insights specialist Signol to advance efforts to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiencies across aviation, shipping, road transportation, and the built environment through the use of behavioural science best practices.
The partnership will see Anthesis expand the reach of Signol's behavioural change software platform, which uses behavioural economics techniques and data science approaches to encourage firms to cut fuel and energy waste.
"Signol's innovative and intuitive technology empowers people that have accountability for fuel and energy, be that a pilot, captain, driver or building manager to make safe but significant changes, resulting in significant sustainable rewards," said Anthesis executive director and chief sustainability officer Paul Crewe. "Targeting the right people with the right information at the right time, this technology has the potential to revolutionise the aviation, shipping, built environment, trucking and rail industries."
And in related news, energy giant Drax announced it is undertaking a trial of advanced smart meters that are designed to give business customers more control over the energy they use.
The company announced it is working with the Data Communications Company (DCC), smart meter manufacturer EDMI and software company Utiligroup, on a "ground-breaking" polyphase SMETS 2 smart meter which will give large industrial and commercial businesses greater control of their energy use.
The technology is designed to give larger energy users such as schools or large commercial premises to use the same software used by the millions of single-phase smart meters installed in homes and small businesses across the UK, providing them with more granular information on their energy use.
"We're confident that this new smart meter technology is going to be a game changer for thousands of our larger customers," said Paul Sheffield, Managing Director of Drax's customers business. "This technology will enable them to enjoy greater flexibility and control over their electricity use, making them more sustainable, which will be good for both the environment and their bottom line."
The meters will be field tested with selected Drax business customers, such as utilities and large NHS Trusts, in the autumn, the company said.
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