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At 590 the UK has second-highest number of B Corps

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Research by green energy experts Uswitch has revealed Moodle, an online educational platform designed for distance learning, is the world’s most popular B Corp business, followed by Coursera and TOMS.

B Corp certification is awarded to businesses that meet the highest standards of accountability when it comes to their social and environmental impact, and there are now almost 5,000 B Corp businesses officially achieving B Corp Certification in the world.

The Most Searched For Sustainable Brands

The social and environmental impact of the products we buy, and the companies we buy them from, is now more important than ever to consumers. So, to discover which sustainable businesses are the most well-known around the world, researchers analysed Google search data, to reveal which ones consumers are Googling the most.

Moodle tops the list with over 53.5 million global searches each year. The Australian-based company is hailed as the world’s most popular learning management system and was crucial throughout the pandemic when classrooms were closed.

Coursera, the open online course provider that works with universities to offer qualifications, is second on the list with 35.9 million global annual searches, followed by the sustainable shoewear brand TOMS in third place, receiving over 14.9 million searches every year.

Popular brands such as premium ice-cream manufacturers Ben & Jerry’s and the world’s first carbon-neutral brewery BrewDog also appear in the top 15 most popular B Corp businesses list, ranking in seventh and 15th place respectively.

Top 15 Most Popular B Corps

Rank Company Name Annual search volume
1 Moodle Pty Ltd 53,550,000
2 Coursera 35,930,000
3 TOMS 14,920,000
4 Redbox 14,480,000
5 Athleta, Inc. 13,643,000
6 Warby Parker 11,335,000
7 Ben and Jerry’s 10,281,000
8 Kickstarter PBC 10,257,000
9 Envato 9,384,000
10 Boomera 8,403,000
11 Nature et Decouvertes 6,555,000
12 Vestiaire collective 5,736,000
13 Rentcars LTDA 4,812,000
14 Allbirds, Inc. 4,781,000
15 BrewDog 4,688,000

The Most Searched For Sustainable Food and Drink Brands

The research also looked at food and drinks organisations that have been recognised by B Corp – it reveals the American ice-cream manufacturer, Ben & Jerry’s, is the most popular sustainable food and drink brand in the world with over 10.2 million searches every year.

Scottish-founded BrewDog is the second most popular food and drinks B Corp business, with 4,688,000 searches every year, followed by Thrive Market, the membership-based retailer selling purely organic and natural food products, in third place.

The top five is made up of two subscription services; the UK-based meat delivery company ButcherBox is fourth, and Gousto is fifth with over 2.4 million searches.

Top 10 Most Popular Food & Drink B Corps

Rank Company Name Annual search volume
1 Ben & Jerry’s 10,281,000
2 BrewDog 4,688,000
3 Thrive Market 3,669,000
4 ButcherBox 2,737,000
5 Gousto 2,447,000
6 NATURALIA 2,104,000
7 Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams 1,719,700
8 Alpro (Alpro SCA) 1,286,500
9 Mindful Chef 1,240,500
10 Tony’s Chocolonely 1,149,000

The Countries With the Most B Corp Certified Businesses

From Australia to Zambia, there are B Corp certified businesses all over the world, and the research also reveals the countries with the most certified B Corps. The United States takes the top spot, with 1,418 in total, followed by the United Kingdom with 590, and then Canada with 323.

Although it might not be a surprise that the USA is on top given the size of the country, it is worth noting that the process to become recognised by B Corp and receive the certification is very tough and incredibly thorough, so it’s only handed out to organisations who really are making a difference.

Top 10 countries with the most certified B Corps 

Rank Countries Total number of certified B Corps
1 United States 1418
2 United Kingdom 590
3 Canada 323
4 Australia 296
5 Brazil 181
6 Chile 136
7 France 151
8 Italy 134
9 The Netherlands 126
10 Argentina 119

To read the full research, please visit: https://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/most-popular-bcorps/

Green hydrogen has potential to be a ‘game changer’

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Hydrogen’s noteworthy contribution to clean energy transitions makes it a game changer for the power industry, says GlobalData. The data and analytics firm notes that the power industry can leverage hydrogen’s potential as a cleaner burning alternative to conventional fuels in the evolving hydrogen economy.

GlobalData’s report, ‘Hydrogen in Power – Thematic Research’, notes that, while the cost of producing hydrogen from renewable energy sources is currently expensive, the momentum that has been built along the entire value chain is accelerating the cost reduction in hydrogen production, transmission, distribution, retail, and end-applications. Now is the time to scale up low-carbon technologies and lower their costs, so that hydrogen technology can be widely utilized.

Sectors such as oil refining and ammonia, methanol, and steel production have been using hydrogen extensively. Hydrogen will play a critical role in the transition to clean energy with the advancement of its applications in sectors such as transportation (fuel cell vehicles), buildings (hydrogen blending), and power generation.

Sneha Susan Elias, Power Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Currently, in the power industry, hydrogen plays a minimal role and accounts for less than 0.2% of electricity generation, according to the International Energy Agency. However, a change is highly possible in the near future, as the mixing of ammonia can decrease the impact of carbon in existing conventional coal-fired power plants, hydrogen gas turbines, and combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT). When it comes to long-term and large-scale energy storage, hydrogen (in the form of compressed gas, ammonia [NH3], or synthetic methane) has a role to play in balancing seasonal variations in electricity supply and demand from renewable energy sources.”

Hydrogen is becoming popular as a low or zero-carbon energy source. The major growth markets for green hydrogen include green hydrogen replacing grey hydrogen and new markets such as energy storage, buildings, and transportation. Several countries have begun to consider a hydrogen-based economy as a solution to increasing carbon emissions, energy stability, and climate change issues. Green hydrogen presently has a small share in the production mix but is poised to increase, given the ambitious targets announced by countries. Through the Hydrogen Strategy for a Carbon Neutral Europe (EU Green Deal), the EU targets for a renewable hydrogen electrolyzer capacity of 6 GW by 2024 and 40 GW by 2030. India unveiled its National Hydrogen Mission in 2021 and aims for 5 million tonne (MT) green hydrogen production by 2030. Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy plans to set up hydrogen hubs regions wherein users of hydrogen are co-located to take advantage of existing users or potential hydrogen markets.

Elias concluded: “With global leaders in the energy industry in search of solutions that will help them to achieve decarbonization or enhance energy security, hydrogen is on track to becoming an energy vector and its use is gathering momentum.”

5 Minutes With… Robert Brown from ENGIE Impact

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As part of our energy management executive interview series, we sat down with Robert Brown, a Director of Sustainable Resource Management at ENGIE Impact, a global consultancy company accelerating sustainability transformation for businesses, cities and governments. The discussion shed light on energy management challenges, goal setting, and the roles of digital tools and data in reaching decarbonisation objectives…

What have been the biggest challenges the Energy Management industry has faced over the past 12 months?

Many organisations have been caught out by record energy price rises this year. Wholesale gas prices have risen by an average of 250% across the world and businesses are now facing unbudgeted bills for natural gas and electricity this year . At the same time, the pressure to progress with a sustainability transformation strategy contributes to the challenges for effective energy management. As announced at this year’s COP26, 60 of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies have signed up to the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign, showing that more and more businesses are now realising the full potential of an integrated sustainability strategy.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

I like to think that every challenge unveils an opportunity. This surge in global market energy pricing was an alarming call to those who haven’t conducted a holistic risk assessment, and who haven’t taken into account potential factors beyond daily business operations that could  affect the company’s bottom line and ultimate viability. For those who haven’t already, now is the time for organisations to review their strategy, and consider emerging energy buying options.

Business leaders have benefitted and are benefitting from integrating more renewables into their energy mix, which has dovetailed with their zero-carbon strategy to achieve a commercial advantage whilst accelerating the achievement of sustainability goals.

In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?

2025 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. I think that we will be discussing our progress in decarbonisation and the achievements to date of this “Decade to Deliver”. The UK has set a goal to achieve 51% emissions reduction by 2025, compared to 1990 levels. Governments and businesses are partnering towards this objective, and although we are on the right track, we still have a long way to go, especially as the UK has pledged a new target of 78% emissions reduction by 2035.

What is the biggest priority for the Energy Management industry in  2022? What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

Given the recent rise in energy cost and the increasing urgency around climate change, it is important to keep in mind a business’ bottom line while implementing sustainable practices. We are now in an era full of evolution and dominance of digital tools, and energy management is no exception to this trend. Digital platforms are being used to leverage data intelligence and pinpoint optimisation opportunities through a holistic view of energy consumption data.

However, having the right data is not enough. Applying advanced analytics to data can deliver real value to an organisation as long as it is consistent and timely. This is something industry leaders like Tesla, Kraft Heinz, NatWest, DHL, Unilever and DS Smith have already started investing in.

This approach to energy management allows for granular sustainability reporting. Just as financial reporting supports a business in determining budgets, evaluating investment and minimising financial risk, sustainability reporting with meaningful and accurate data allows for transparency, effective decision-making and minimising environmental risk.

At ENGIE Impact, we recently launched ENGIE Ellipse: Zero Carbon Platform – a dynamic intelligence tool to accelerate decarbonisation. This scalable digital platform enables companies to measure their carbon footprint, set targets and design roadmaps, track progress and investments, and optimise performance.

How can your business help energy managers address these challenges?

ENGIE Impact supports businesses to mature their energy efficiency programmes across their portfolio of sites. By collecting the right data at the right time, we help our customers to understand their energy consumption and grasp opportunities for optimisation, as well as customise strategies tailored to their business goals and priorities. Our teams don’t just supply a plan; we are there at every step of the journey from initial concept through to full execution and post-project monitoring. From measuring results, to reporting on progress, we fuel continuous enhancement in energy management strategy for our clients.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Meeting with peer leaders in sustainability and energy management, and helping them in their decarbonisation journey and future proofing their organization. This is a professional driver for me and it’s really meaningful to see the positive impact to the bottom line competitiveness and sustainable progress that our collaborations bring.

And what’s the most challenging?

Sustainability is easier said than done. Unpredictable external factors, such as the extreme spike in energy prices this year and the effects that the pandemic has had on wider resource availability, can make it more challenging for businesses to reach their goals as efforts focus on financial survival in the short-term.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Energy requires a robust strategic approach. Doing nothing is a conscious decision.  The time to act is NOW and arming the right stakeholders with the right timely information and data to be able to act on is incredibly powerful so measure what matters.

Businesses will then gain competitive advantage and progress towards their energy efficiency and zero/neutral carbon ambitions in their daily operations.

Connect with Rob: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-brown-miet/

£60m Swansea Bay City Region low carbon initiative approved

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The UK and Welsh Governments have approved the £58.7 million Swansea Bay City Deal’s Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth programme.

The programme’s aim is to help establish the Swansea Bay City Region as a leader in low carbon growth and the green economy.

Close collaboration with industry, government and academia is key to its success by delivering low carbon, sustainable and inclusive economic growth through creating the right environment to develop new technologies from the research stage, through to production, to support job creation in the region.

Led by Neath Port Talbot Council with Swansea University and University of South Wales as delivery partners, the programme aims to support the creation and safeguarding of 1,320 jobs in the green economy through seven interlinked projects that will enhance infrastructure, research and development and commercialisation:

  • Bay Technology Centre – energy positive building providing high quality, flexible office and laboratory space
  • South Wales Industrial Transition from Carbon Hub – purpose-built facility and specialist equipment to decarbonise the steel and metal industry and supply chain
  • Advanced manufacturing production facility – providing production units with open access to shared specialist equipment to support start-up companies and local business growth in the innovation and manufacturing sectors linked to energy and renewables
  • Property development fund – gap funding for bespoke and speculative commercial buildings in the Port Talbot Waterfront Enterprise Zone area
  • Hydrogen stimulus project – enabling a demonstrator to prove commercial viability of carbon-free hydrogen supply to fuel hydrogen vehicles
  • Air quality monitoring project – test bed for new technology to establish a greater understanding of air quality and levels of pollution to inform local action planning
  • Low emission vehicle charging infrastructure – developing a strategy to decarbonise journeys in the Swansea Bay City Region and develop a pilot in the Valleys area of Neath Port Talbot

The programme can commence drawing down on a £47.7 million City Deal investment from both governments to complement the £5.5 million already committed from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and Neath Port Talbot Council and a further £5.5 million of private sector funding. The programme also aims to attract a further estimated £40 million of additional funds from the private and public sectors over the next 5 years.

The funding will provide solutions to decarbonise commercial and industrial buildings, transport and industrial processes that will support the policies and strategies laid out by the Welsh and UK governments.

Cllr Edward Latham, Neath Port Talbot Council Leader, said: “The programme will focus on the Harbourside and Baglan Energy Park area of Port Talbot which complements Neath Port Talbot Council’s Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy Strategy (DARE), with wider regional and national impact through the development of products, services and a skilled workforce”.

James Davies, Industry Wales, said: “The programme of projects aims to transform industry and support the green industrial revolution. The focus on Research, Development and Innovation into energy and advanced materials fits well with the government’s agenda to decarbonise and with other initiatives such as the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC). Industry Wales strongly advocates this ambitious and progressive programme of work that can help bring back and sustain green manufacturing in South West Wales through support for Start-ups, Small to Medium Enterprises and attract inward investment from outside the region.”

Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “As we emerge from the Covid crisis, we are determined to move Wales forward with an economic recovery designed to tackle the climate emergency head on. We will help businesses transition to a low carbon future that will deliver with a stronger, fairer and greener economy.”

The Swansea Bay City Deal is an investment of up to £1.3 billion in a portfolio of nine major programmes and projects across the Swansea Bay City Region, which are together worth over £1.8 billion and 9,000 jobs to the region’s economy in coming years.

Funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector, the City Deal is being led by Carmarthenshire Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire Council and Swansea Council, in partnership with Swansea University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea Bay University Health Board and Hywel Dda University Health Board.

The £8.5m Bay Technology Centre has been awarded £3.69m of EU funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government.

The project involves creating a 2,500m2 hybrid building. This will provide a range of flexible office space to support both start up and business growth companies, with a focus on the innovation and R&D sectors.

This is one of a number of projects within the Swansea Bay City Deal supported by the European Regional Development Fund including £14.9m EU funds awarded to four projects assisting the further development of the marine energy industry in Wales through the Pembroke Dock Marine programme:

o             The Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence (MEECE)

o             Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone – Consent and Development

o             Pembroke Dock Building Adaptations

o             Pembroke Dock Marine Access Infrastructure.

Case Study: Sustainable Energy Management for Automotive Manufacturers

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By ENGIE Impact

With global, energy intensive portfolios of showrooms, manufacturing plants and electric vehicle charging points, controlling energy usage and spend is a top priority for automotive companies. A decentralised approach to energy management has its benefits, but creates challenges for gathering complete datasets for internal reporting, with added concern that invoices from energy suppliers are often insufficiently monitored and incorrectly charged.

One Fortune 100 automotive company was looking for an experienced sustainability consultant with global reach matched with local expertise, in-depth experience in data acquisition, expense management and green energy procurement, as well as a robust and multi-lingual energy and sustainability platform – and selected ENGIE Impact as their partner.

ENGIE Impact’s international footprint and holistic service offering meant that the automotive company only needed to partner with one consultant for all their global energy and sustainability needs. To solve the company’s challenges, our teams carried out four main phases:
1. Data Acquisition
2. Invoice Validation
3. Supplier Consolidation
4. Green Energy Procurement.

Throughout this mission, our energy and sustainability platform provided the company with immediate visibility into their cost and consumption at the portfolio, regional and site level. Our teams managed an annual energy consumption of 2.3 TWh across more than 2,500 sites globally, processing 33,000 invoices per year received in 23 languages, of which 39% required investigation with the company’s energy suppliers. Over a 12-month period, we procured 235 GWh of renewable energy for the company in Europe. Our client is now better positioned to make data-driven decisions towards their financial and environmental objectives.

Learn more about this partnership at: https://go.engieimpact.com/manufacturer-energy-management

Sustainability: How food and drink businesses can succeed

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Due to climate change, embracing sustainability is no longer a matter of choice for businesses. Mounting public pressure and government legislations means companies big and small are having to make essential changes to become more sustainable.

This is particularly true for energy and carbon-intensive industries like food and drink manufacturing. As the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and fourth-highest industrial energy user in the country they have a vital role to play. And with global population figures expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050, the industry will need to manage a 50-70% upsurge in food demand.

Latest figures show the industry is making good progress, highlighted by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF). Statistics show its members achieved a significant 53.2% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to figures from 1990.

For the businesses that already see sustainability as a vital part of their operation, the environment isn’t the only thing benefitting. Many are seeing a positive impact on their bottom line too. Barclays research shows that 75% of UK businesses commercially benefit from going green.

Against this backdrop, dairy energy supplier Flogas Britain looks at why it makes perfect business sense for food and drink manufacturers to adopt a sustainable strategy.

Improved energy efficiency

As some of the country’s highest energy users, it’s no surprise that fuel is the primary source of their greenhouse gas emissions. In some cases, energy accounts for more than 15% of expenditure costs. This shows that, not only can businesses reduce their carbon footprint, but they can make good cost savings too.

With many businesses that are off the main gas grid still reliant on fossil fuels like oil, a switch to cleaner, greener fuels like liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) can be the perfect solution for reducing their carbon footprint and potentially cutting costs.

Waste reduction

Food and drink manufacturing generates high volumes of waste through the products themselves and the packaging they use. WRAP statistics show that the UK produces food waste worth £1.1 billion annually — a staggering fact that needs to drop dramatically.

Food waste isn’t just bad for the planet though, it can be bad for business too.  The FDF’s ‘Ambition 2025 – Shaping Sustainable Value Chains,’ has set a goal for the industry to send zero food waste to landfill and minimise waste across the entire supply chain.

Packaging is another topic high on the list of sustainable priorities. Food and drink manufacturers account for two-thirds of the EU’s waste packaging by weight, so the fight to reduce the reliance on plastic is a big challenge.

Investment in packaging innovation can have a positive impact on the environment and to profit margins. Packaging optimisation can help eliminate waste, cut carbon emissions and create efficiencies that save time and money.

Attract talent and investors

It’s not just consumers who are curious about a company’s sustainability efforts. Strong eco credentials can also help attract talent, whilst also improving engagement and retention of staff.

Sustainable business practices have become the leading factor in the hiring and retention of employees. People on the hunt for a new role are actively reviewing the companies they want to work for based on their eco credentials.

According to a survey of institutional investors, 98 per cent of respondents said a company with strong ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) initiatives make for an attractive and lucrative investment.

A business booster

For food and drink manufacturers, becoming more sustainable is a situation that has virtually no downside. From enhancing energy efficiency and reducing waste, to improving brand image and attracting talent, it really does make perfect sense for manufacturers to green as soon as possible.

A watershed moment for sustainability commitments

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By Mark Perera, CEO, Vizibl

Last month saw a landmark ruling where Royal Dutch Shell was instructed to significantly step up its 2030 climate commitments and slash absolute emissions by 45% compared to 2019 levels. This ruling represents a considerable advance on Shell’s stated aim to cut 45% of its emissions intensity compared to 2016 levels by 2035 – a target which provided leeway for increasing emissions as long as the relative carbon emitted per unit of energy produced fell.

Now, this imposes a much larger climate obligation on Shell in calling for an urgent absolute reduction.

A ruling that sent ripples through the oil, gas, and energy sector

A watershed moment, this ruling is sure to cause significant alarm amongst fellow oil and gas giants who recognise – for perhaps the first time – that national courts can compel organisations to accelerate their reduction of harmful emissions under the Paris Agreement. Not only does it have “far-reaching” consequences for Shell itself and may even curb the potential growth of the company, but the decision is also likely to set a legal precedent for other energy companies and corporations. According to Thom Wetzer from Oxford University, who heads up the sustainable law programme: “all companies in the energy industry and all heavy emitters will be put on notice and have to accelerate their decarbonisation plans.”[1]

This court mandate applies to not only the Shell group’s own operations but notably also to all the suppliers and customers of the group – strongly implying that Shell is being asked to tackle its Scope 3 emissions. Consequently, it is clear that Shell cannot meet the ruling’s demands alone; to make an impact across all carbon emissions scopes, Shell and other large businesses must immediately look towards forging new, productive partnerships with supplier stakeholders. Failing to do this not only means missed targets and mounting legislative action, but also the reputational damage that this will cause to its brand and the company.

Activist investor warns of existential business risk

Reports on the Shell ruling were almost immediately followed by news of a coup attempt in American oil and gas corporation, Exxon Mobil. Due to concerns surrounding Exxon’s strategic direction, hedge fund Engine No. 1 ousted sitting board members, stating that the climate crisis poses an “existential threat to the business” which the board has been reluctant to confront.

This small hedge fund accused Exxon of “a failure to take even initial steps towards evolution” and of “obfuscating rather than addressing long-term business risk”, partly due to a historical lack of energy industry experience in Exxon’s board. This signalled an imminent shift in the company’s sustainability strategy, which was well received by the market, with Exxon’s shares rising 1.2% the day after the event.

The drive to reduce Scope 3 emissions

And if that wasn’t enough of a shake up, this was followed by American multinational energy corporation Chevron’s shareholders voting 61% in favour of a proposal to cut Scope 3 emissions at their AGM, signalling frustration with the company’s slack approach towards climate change. Chevron has thus far failed to match its competitors’ net-zero targets with any commitments of its own.

For those less familiar, corporate emissions fall into three categories: Scope 1, 2, and 3. Scope 1 covers emissions from sources that an organisation directly owns or controls. Scope 2 refers to emissions from purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling that the reporting company consumes over the course of their operations. And Scope 3 is everything else – all other indirect emissions that occur within an organisation’s value chain, both up and downstream

Why is this significant? Until now, Scope 3’s heady combination of difficult-to-manage and thus far easy-to-ignore has led large companies to abdicate responsibility for their value chain and sweep its emissions under the carpet. However, the Shell ruling indicates that this approach is no longer viable for big business. With courts stepping in and dictating climate policy to corporations as well as governments, the pressure is mounting on all heavy emitters to tackle their true impact and reduce Scope 3 emissions.

As organisations like Shell, Chevron and Exxon are considered responsible for the actions of their entire ecosystems, sustainability performance becomes contingent on supplier behaviour. The clearest example of this lies in Scope 3 emissions which, for many organisations, considerably exceeds the CO2 they emit directly.

Therefore, the time for green-washing and lip service is now over as pressure mounts from all stakeholder groups for large corporates to take decisive action on sustainability in the supply chain. However, businesses cannot turn promises into concrete progress without actively collaborating with stakeholders across the value chain.

For every 5 weeks that pass, we lose 1% of the decade

2030, the deadline for achievement of UN SDG-related climate commitments, is fast looming, and with every five weeks that pass we lose 1% of the decade. The imperative to take immediate action has never been clearer. It’s now down to procurement, wider business leaders, and their associated supplier ecosystems to put sustainability strategy into action by:

  • Defining, aligning, and communicating their corporate sustainability goals to focus suppliers, partners and the wider stakeholder groups on how they can make an impact.
  • Collaborating systematically through technology using transparent processes that develop trust with suppliers and partners.
  • Harnessing the innovation and IP within the supplier ecosystem, turning ideas into projects that can be managed and reported on transparently, and adding clear value trackers to prove impact.

Working closely with stakeholders in the supply chain is an infamously complex process, but it can be made that much simpler using Supplier Collaboration & Innovation (SC&I) technology. This ensures strategic alignment between buyer and supplier and provides comprehensive relationship governance and real-time performance visibility. This allows companies and their suppliers to work on sustainability initiatives more cohesively and develop innovative ideas through collaboration.

Here at Vizibl – through our SC&I platform combined with our knowledge and expertise – we are helping large enterprise organisations in the energy sector better leverage their supplier relationships and move closer to meeting those lofty 2030 sustainability goals.

Every UK job ‘has the potential to be green’, says Green Jobs Task Force

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Every UK job has the potential to be green, according to an independent expert report backed by the UK government, which has welcomed 15 new recommendations from the independent Green Jobs Taskforce.

It is already estimated that the Prime Minister’s ambitious Ten Point Plan will support up to 90,000 highly-skilled green UK jobs within this Parliament, and up to 250,000 by 2030.

This includes supporting 60,000 jobs in offshore wind, 40,000 new jobs in zero emission vehicles, and 50,000 jobs in greening the UK’s buildings – all by 2030. This represents the first steps towards our broader ambition of supporting 2 million jobs in the green economy and its supply chains by 2030.

The Taskforce, convened by the Business and Education departments in November 2020, has published its findings and recommendations on how the UK government, industry and skills sector can best deliver the green jobs and skills of the future. Recommendations include:

  • publishing a detailed Net Zero Strategy and using policy to promote good green jobs, skills and competitive supply chains
  • industry, the education sector and the UK government working together to ensure green careers advice and pathways into good green jobs
  • building on the UK government’s skills reforms to support people to work in the new green economy

The new report assesses how the UK jobs market and the skills sector should adapt to support net zero, from training engineers and construction workers who are building the UK’s world-renowned offshore wind farms and nuclear plants, to the retrofitters who will make homes more comfortable and energy efficient, and car mechanics servicing electric vehicles and vans.

UK Energy & Climate Change Minister and co-chair of the Green Jobs Taskforce Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “As we lead the world in tackling climate change, we need to invest in the UK’s most important asset – its workforce – so that our people have the right skills to deliver a green industrial revolution and thrive in the jobs it will create.

“That’s why today we have welcomed the recommendations put forward by the Green Jobs Taskforce, which are a big step forward in delivering the skilled workers and green jobs essential for the UK’s transition to net zero.

“Its report, alongside our ambitious skills programmes, will be invaluable to us as we build a pathway into green careers for people from all backgrounds and ensuring that workers and communities dependent on the high-carbon economy are supported as we build back greener into a cleaner future.”

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills and co-chair of the Green Jobs Taskforce Gillian Keegan said: “We are focused on delivering the talent pipeline businesses need for green jobs now and in the future. From Skills Bootcamps to apprenticeships, our skills programmes will ensure people are able to acquire the skills needed for the growing green economy.

“We welcome the Taskforce’s findings which will help us to drive forward our ambitious green skills revolution, supporting more people of all backgrounds to get the skills they need to build great careers and help us reach our goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”

Minister for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions, Mims Davies MP, said: “As we push to build back greener we’re ensuring jobseekers have the skills and experience needed to propel our green recovery – including through our Plan for Jobs which is creating new opportunities and helping people pivot into growing sectors.

“We know there is more to be done and this report provides a valuable insight on how we can boost long-term job prospects as we continue on our journey to net zero, and I look forward to powering our progress towards a cleaner, greener Britain as I join forces with colleagues on the new delivery board.”

In a further drive to ensure people have the right skills to deliver the transition to a net zero economy and pursue green careers, the UK government has already rolled out a range of initiatives and skills programmes to build low carbon industries across the country and help people thrive in the jobs this will create.

This includes working with employers to boost green apprenticeship opportunities and supporting more adults to gain the skills they need to progress into green jobs through upskilling and training programmes.

These initiatives will build on existing action already underway including green apprenticeships and green skills bootcamps, strengthening the government’s ambition to support the creation of 2 million skilled jobs by 2030 to build back greener and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Current initiatives from the UK government include:

  • Green apprenticeships: there are a wide range of green apprenticeships already up and running including Nuclear Desk Engineers, Wind Turbine Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technicians, Research Scientists and Environmental Practitioners that have been endorsed by the Green Apprenticeships Advisory Panel (GAAP). The GAAP is working with employers across England to enhance the current apprenticeships on offer and create new opportunities to adapt to the growing green economy.
  • Green Skills Bootcamps: the government is expanding its Skills Bootcamps to other areas of the country, which deliver free, flexible training courses of up to 16 weeks for adults so they can develop in-demand skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. This will include offering technical training in green home retrofit management, solar energy installation, sustainable agriculture, nuclear energy deployment, and green transport
  • Electrification skills boost: the government has launched the Emerging Skills Electrification Project, which aims to encourage the adoption of cutting-edge skills in electrification technologies, such as battery-powered motors and drives, electric vehicle systems and software, battery maintenance, and recycling. The project will fund the development of short courses, teacher training support and free to access ‘up-skilling’ days for adults in the latest electrification technologies
  • Free Courses for Jobs (free Level 3 qualifications): backed by £95 million from the National Skills Fund, the government is fully funding any adult without an existing Level 3 qualifications, which are equivalent to A levels or an advanced technical certificate or diploma, to take a Level 3 qualification for free. The offer includes qualifications that will support adults across England to get the skills that lead directly to jobs in sectors such as Agriculture, Building and Construction, Engineering, Horticulture and Forestry and Science
  • Supporting transitioning industries: this year the government announced the landmark North Sea Transition Deal, supporting the oil and gas industry’s transition to clean, green energy – while supporting 40,000 jobs, and the UK’s first ever Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, to help industry decarbonise in line with net zero, while remaining competitive and without pushing emissions abroad
  • Plans for jobs: more than a third of the working population, including 14.5 million jobs, have been supported since the coronavirus pandemic began, one year on from the announcement of the government’s landmark Plan for Jobs

As part of government’s immediate response to the Green Jobs Taskforce report, it has announced it will set up a cross-cutting delivery group to include representatives from industry, the skills sector and other key stakeholders to oversee the development and delivery of the government’s plans for green jobs and skills. This group will maintain the momentum generated by the Taskforce and drive meaningful action across the green skills agenda.

The evidence collected by the Green Jobs Taskforce, and official recommendations, will now be considered by the government, feeding into the development of government’s ambitious Net Zero Strategy, due to be published ahead of the UN’s climate summit COP26 in Glasgow this November. The Net Zero Strategy will clearly set out the government’s path to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and meeting the UK government’s targets to cut emissions and create new jobs and industries across the whole country.

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No more public contracts unless suppliers have Net Zero plan, says government

1024 682 Stuart O'Brien

New measures unveiled by the UK government will require businesses to commit to net zero by 2050 and publish clear and credible carbon reduction plans before they can bid for major public contracts.

The rules will support the government’s plan to build back greener by ensuring that potential government suppliers publish plans to reduce carbon emissions across their operations in order to bid for major government contracts.

The measures (announced on World Environment Day) make the UK government the first in the world to put this requirement in place, which it says underlines the UK’s leadership in tackling climate change.

Under the new measures, by September, prospective suppliers bidding for contracts above £5million a year will need to have committed to the government’s target of net zero by 2050 and have published a carbon reduction plan. Firms which fail to do so will be excluded from bidding for the contract.

A carbon reduction plan sets out where an organisation’s emissions come from and the environmental management measures that they have in place. Some large companies already self-report parts of their carbon emissions, known as Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect owned) emissions.

The new rules will go further, requiring the reporting of some Scope 3 emissions, including business travel, employee commuting, transportation, distribution and waste. Scope 3 emissions represent a significant proportion of an organisation’s carbon footprint.

The new rules drive forward the government’s green agenda, while also striking a balance to not overly burden and potentially exclude small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from bidding for government work.

The approach is similar to the successful prompt payment measure introduced in 2019, which allowed a supplier’s performance in paying their subcontractors promptly to be taken into account when bidding for government work. As a result of this measure, we have seen improvements in payment performance across the UK economy.

All companies bidding for major government contracts will need to comply with the measure, not just those who are successful in winning contracts. This further widens the impact of the measure, as more and more suppliers commit to achieving Net Zero. The measures will apply to all central government departments and arms length bodies.

Minister for Efficiency and Transformation, Lord Agnew, said: “The government spends more than £290 billion on procurement every year, so it’s important we use this purchasing power to help transform our economy to net-zero. Requiring companies to report and commit to reducing their carbon emissions before bidding for public work is a key part of our world leading approach. These measures will help green our economy, while not overly burdening businesses, particularly SMEs.”

Tom Thackray, Director of Infrastructure and Energy, at the CBI said: “As the world looks towards the UK and COP26 for leadership on decarbonisation, business is already playing a vital role in driving progress towards a greener future. The CBI has long supported using procurement policy to ensure government spending supports the UK’s environmental objectives and these changes will encourage more firms across the country to demonstrate their own commitment to net zero when bidding for government contracts. Partnership between the public and private sectors can make the UK a global role-model, not only in delivering vital public services but working together to tackle climate change.”

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