CASE STUDY

Shed 1 Gin has been putting green initiatives in place and has committed to be Net Zero by 2030.

Being green was at the heart of Shed 1 Gin when owners Zoe and Andrew Arnold-Bennett launched in 2016.

Now the business, based in Ulverston on the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria, has committed to be Net Zero by 2030.

Originally started in their garden shed, they opened as a visitor attraction after moving to the Old Calf Shed in the town in 2019.

“When we launched in 2016, we had green issues on our mind, for example our packaging has always been recycled, recyclable and compostable,” explains Zoe. “And as we’ve grown, and now we are in the Old Calf Shed, we’ve tried to continue to put more and more initiatives in place.

“For example, we have a closed system which means that our water is recycled during the distillation process and that means we are saving thousands of litres of water when we distil.

“Now we’re committing to net zero by 2030.”

And they get specific small business support to help keep them on track.

“In 2019 we became Green Small Business certified,” Zoe reveals. “A great chap called Tim Maiden helped us with this and each year he gets in touch, we have an audit, he checks what we are doing, sees what else we could be doing and what other research we have got involved in. It’s a great scheme, it’s really good for small businesses.

“In 2020 we got The Gin Guide’s Environmental Sustainability Award for the things we have been doing and that really did give us a big boost and made us realise we really are on the right track.

“There’s lots more to come and lots more to do, but we can do it and we will do it.”

Offering her advice to other businesses looking to go Net Zero, Zoe says: “We know it’s any small thing that you can do. It can be don’t print out as much paper or turning the lights off when not using them.

“Whatever you can do it’s all going to go towards helping the planet and us to reach this goal.”

CASE STUDY

Stay Wild – Two inspiring female founders challenging fashion industry norms, while putting the planet first

Encouraging customers to send back their old swimwear for recycling is key to building a cleaner, greener business for Natalie Glaze and Zanna Van Dijk, co-founders of fashion brand Stay Wild.

Natalie explains why they started the London-based fashion brand and how sustainability is woven into every element of the brand.

“Both of us are incredibly passionate about protecting our planet and we have been incorporating positive changes into our personal lives for years, but we wanted to do something bigger.

“We saw a gap in the market for exquisite, timeless swimwear which not only flattered all bodies, but could be created in a sustainable way which was kind to the environment.”

Natalie explains how they wanted to create a brand with a purpose and a story to tell, but with “a slower, more conscious ethos” which would reduce the company’s carbon footprint to Net Zero.

“We have made conscious choices at every step of our business to be able to help contribute towards the UK’s goal of Net Zero by 2050. Which is why this year we have launched our new circularity project, to take back people’s old swimwear they can no longer wear from any brand and recycle and repurpose them to keep clothes out of landfill.

“Sustainability is at our core. We don’t do seasons, but take a slow fashion capsule collection model approach and only launched one collection in the first two years compared to an average of 52 collections per year in the industry.

“We take pre-orders to minimise any wastage, utilise deadstock in our collection, make high quality pieces that last longer to encourage buying less but better. We produce our items at a small zero waste factory in London and use a small independent distribution centre with carbon neutral shipping”.

Stay Wild launched in 2019, using sustainable materials and local production, with a small team of ten staff. Zanna says there are simple steps every business can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

“This is a crucial time in our global fight against climate change and we encourage all business owners to factor sustainability into their choices. A great place to start is packaging. Reduce the need for new materials and switch to reusable, recyclable or compostable options and look at offsetting your shipping. We hope to pave the way for more emerging conscious brands and inspire others to think in a more sustainable way.”

Natalie and Zanna are excited at the UK hosting the UN climate change talks in Glasgow this November.

Zanna says: “COP26 is set to be the most significant climate change event since the 2015 Paris Agreement. It is incredibly important that we have it here in the UK, as it provides us with an opportunity to show the world the progress we have made, share resources and information with other nations. Hosting such an event will give the UK motivation to continue being a world leader in fighting climate change”.

For information on Stay Wild visit https://staywildswim.com/

CASE STUDY

SURE Solutions – Garry Shaw of SURE Solutions explains how his business is pushing towards net zero

It is a case of practice what you preach for Garry Shaw, Managing Director of energy efficiency specialists SURE Solutions.

The family-owned business, which Garry started four years ago offers energy efficiency solutions to businesses using industrial refrigeration, has installed 70 solar panels on the roof of their offices in Birkenhead on the Wirral.

There are plans this year to install a hot water heat pump and EV chargepoints, with Garry pledging the whole of the business will be net zero by 2025.

“As I have spent my working life in refrigeration, I have seen the changes in regulation to reduce carbon emissions first-hand,” explains Garry. “And while helping reduce those emissions was a powerful sales tool, I realised that it was something that had to be of significant importance to myself in order to give an honest assessment to any client who came knocking on my door for help.

“As well as the solar panels, heat pump and chargepoints, we have recently removed the electric wall heaters from the offices and big old gas heaters from the workshop and installed refrigerant heat pumps to provide the heating and cooling.

“We have ensured that our waste is recycled where possible and as we upgrade our vehicles we are replacing them with either electric or hybrid equivalents. Our final step later this year will be ‘carbon offsetting’ by doing something along the lines of tree planting or similar to get to Net Zero.

“The aim is to be carbon neutral, through offsetting, by the end of this year. We want to be Net Zero within the workplace next year and for the whole business by 2025.”

Garry believes helping the push towards Net Zero provides a greater sense of purpose and accountability for his business.

“It helps us be firmer in our decisions and that we show integrity, we do the right things,” he adds.

“We all have to show leadership on the topic if we can. We can’t rely on government alone, or big corporations, or energy providers, it will take an approach across all sectors and business sizes to become effective.”

And his tips for other businesses that are thinking of following suits are clear: “Speak to your own staff, they may have ideas for improvement.

“Also, engage educational institutions or universities for support. We have engaged Liverpool John Moores on a project to map our carbon footprint. We all need to understand the data before we can measure the impact of improvements.

“Engage apprentices or new starters to run projects. Often, they come in with fresh ideas and challenge existing thinking. In addition, the younger generation are more open to taking on environmental challenges.”

And with Glasgow set to host COP26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in November, Garry feels it is key that the UK sets the pace in the race to Net Zero: “It’s important to show our leadership to other countries to have the best possible chance of gaining commitment to global agreements and targets at that conference.”

CASE STUDY

Tropic: Beauty with conscience – Susie Ma explains some of the green measures that Tropic has implemented

Former BBC Apprentice star Susie Ma created Tropic to be a force for good beyond beauty.

She says: “Tropic is inspired by our natural world and our product formulations are powered by some of the most effective botanicals in the world, but they are very susceptible to the consequences of climate change. Which is why I believe that businesses have a responsibility to people and the planet to do more.”

Susie explains why moving to renewable energy sources needs to be at the forefront of reducing emissions.

“The UK is a world leader in emissions reduction, we have some of the best renewable energy sources in the world. It’s been so exciting to see the shift away from fossil fuels, and the fact that Britain didn’t use coal as a nation for two months straight last year is excellent. By hosting COP26, we have a responsibility to ensure renewable energy is at the forefront of climate negotiations.”

The South London-based firm make their skincare and beauty products fresh every day, with a turnover of £75 million last year.

Susie believes that all businesses have a responsibility to the planet and to protect the natural world.

“No company is perfect, but we believe in progression and ensuring that we are doing everything we can to meet the highest standards possible. We hope to inspire and drive change through example.

“We go beyond Net Zero in terms of emissions, since 2018 we’ve double offset all our carbon emissions, removing twice the amount of greenhouse gases that we emit. In 2019 we swapped to renewable energy at our HQ, and we’ve been certified landfill free for two years.

“We’ve implemented eco-friendly schemes our employees can benefit from, such as our cycle initiative. Employees can borrow and use Tropic bicycles to commute to and from our HQ, completely free of charge to reduce individual carbon footprints.”

Susie shares her advice for other businesses starting their green journey.

“Never see environmental initiatives as a burden and instead see how they can benefit company morale. Even if it’s a simple energy supplier change. Each switch is a win for your conscience and the planet.”

Visit https://tropicskincare.com/ to find out more about Tropic.

Six reasons to use the SME Climate Hub

How it works – about the tools and resources

The tools and resources will allow SMEs to:

  • Measure and manage emissions
  • Increase resource efficiency
  • Track and communicate progress
  • Access resources and services
  • Gain insights into best practices
  • Learn more about climate science

What can SMEs do to fight climate change?

Majda Dabaghi, Director of Inclusive & Green Growth at the International Chamber of Commerce and ICE Brunel International Lecture Series guest speaker, encourages engineers and infrastructure professionals to join the United Nations Race to Zero campaign by making the SME Climate Commitment

The world around us is changing, and quickly. Civil engineers of all types and sizes have an important role to play in helping the world get on track to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

The science is clear: to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must ensure a 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – a crucial milestone to avoid irreversible climate change – and race to net-zero emission by no later than 2050. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs with less than 500 employees), including civil engineering firms, are the key to success on climate, but have been largely left out of climate action initiatives to date.

As Seth Schultz, executive director of global organisation The Resilience Shift, discussed at the Europe leg of ICE’s 13th Brunel lecture series entitled “21st Century Leadership is Partnership”: civil engineers hold a unique set of tools and skills to shape the infrastructure of society.

In laying the foundation of how we live, civil engineers can impact methods of energy efficiency, renewable electricity, decarbonisation of the industry, and carbon sequestration. The long-time priority has been guaranteeing safe infrastructure, but the focus now needs to be on safe, zero-carbon, and resilient infrastructure.

There are further incentives for civil engineering firms to take climate action. It is possible that 1.26 trillion USD of revenue could be at risk for suppliers over the next five years due to climate change, deforestation, and water insecurity (CDP Global Supply Chain Report 2020). Despite this staggering figure, of the 65% of SMEs that are worried about climate change, only 27% say they are well prepared to deal with the consequences (UNEP + AXA SME Readiness and Concern about Climate Change Report 2015).

Most civil engineering firms are small businesses and have the power to innovate to help us meet the scale and speed of the solutions we need alongside every other size of enterprise – and we call on you to make the SME Climate Commitment and start to take action to reduce your own emissions and help your clients make the changes they need to make to get on course to net zero, as well. I’d love to see as many ICE members as possible mobilised and signed up to the SME Climate Hub ahead of COP26 in Glasgow this November.

The SME Climate Hub needs your commitment

The SME Climate Hub has been created to tackle the gap in global climate effort inclusion head on. We can only drive emissions reductions at the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement if climate action becomes everyone’s business. That means starting with the SMEs at the heart of every industry, in every country the world over – every commitment counts.

The pure economic rationale for launching the SME Climate Hub in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis could not be clearer. Disruptions to the supply of essential materials over the last year have clearly shown the imperative to build bottom-up resilience to external shocks in global supply chains.

SMEs that have proven so vulnerable to the demand shock and workplace disruptions caused by the pandemic are often no better equipped to deal with climate-related disruptions to business continuity. 

We must also be fully mindful of the severe constraints that many SMEs are now operating under as a result of the economic hardship wrought by Covid-19.

To some, this may provide a convenient pretext for delaying necessary climate action. But that, to our minds, would be to miss the opportunity to embed climate action as a tool for SMEs to recover stronger and more resilient from
the turmoil, and to create long lasting business opportunities
for growth.

65% of SMEs are worried about climate change, only 27% say they are well prepared to deal with the consequences

We [the International Chamber of Commerce] urge all small and medium-sized companies to commit to halving greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions before 2050 through the SME Climate Hub.

As well as experiencing the business benefits of taking climate action, SMEs making this commitment will be globally recognised by the Race to Zero campaign, a United Nations initiative rallying leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

With special thanks to Sierra Leder, ICC Knowledge Solutions, for her support in preparing this article.

Here’s some quotes from SMEs that have already joined the SME Climate Hub:

“Innovative and sustainable solutions are essential to addressing the climate crises. BeCard tries to play its part by providing a digital, eco-friendly business card. I hope that many more green solution providers will share their innovations with the world and join us on the SME Climate Hub.” Bogdan Popescu, Founder, BeCard

“Yoghurt Barn is one of the first companies to become climate positive and we want to inspire our guests and other companies to follow. The time for climate action is now and the SME Climate Hub is a useful resource to help companies take action!” Wouter Staal, CEO, Yoghurt Barn

“Electron joined the SME Climate Hub because we cannot afford not to invest in a net zero emissions future.” Joanna Hubbard, CEO & Co-founder, Electron

“The 21st century will be the century of the environment, or it will be no more.” Maria Fernanda Garza, CEO, Orestia

“All companies have a responsibility to take action, and I believe most of us want to. However, it is not always easy to figure out how to do so – therefore we are very grateful and happy to participate in SME Climate Hub and look forward to follow the path to become a climate resilient business.” Asbjorn Dencker, Founder and Business Developer, Eace Gum

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