On the 17th of June, The Future Economy Network (FEN) and Future Leap hosted another hybrid event entitled “Science Based Targets: Become a Business Climate Leader”. Before the event began, the attendees enjoyed some pre-sessional networking both online in breakout rooms, and in person over coffee and pastries.
Katherine Piper, Director of Partnerships at Future Leap, welcomed attendees to the event and highlighted the benefits of joining the network. Katherine also shared updates about the Carbon Neutral Hub in Bristol, Future Leap as well as briefly running through plans for the Festival of Sustainable Business, in light of new Government guidance towards the COVID-19 pandemic. Our speakers included:
· Emma Watson- Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and CDP
· Kim Yates and Sally Sudworth- Mott MacDonald
· Ali Ahmed- Verco
Emma, Senior Manager for Net-Zero at the SBTi, kicked off with an insightful talk on science-based targets. She discussed the importance of developing emission targets in line with the latest climate science evidence. Emma ran through the SBTi’s key principles and framework features, highlighting how to translate corporate climate goals into action. Emma also detailed aspects of the Net-Zero Standard which is currently being developed by the SBTi and will be an important resource for guiding practitioners. Attendees were then invited to ask Emma questions.
Next up were our speakers from Mott MacDonald, Sally, Global Head of Sustainability and Climate Change, and Kim, UK and Europe Sustainability and Climate Change Lead. They discussed the journey of how the global engineering, management, and development consultancy company achieved carbon neutrality in 2020 and their goals to become net zero by 2040, with support from the SBTi. Sally and Kim detailed the approaches adopted by Mott MacDonald, highlighting that sustainability actions targeted both structural and behavioural changes, as well as promoting carbon neutrality in staff members. Our speakers briefly touched upon their methods to offset emissions through their involvement with the Sumatra Merang Peatland Project, before finishing with a Q&A.
Our final speaker of the morning was Ali Ahmed, Business Development Manager at Verco, who gave an overview of his approaches for helping corporations achieve their long-term net zero goals. He offered solutions to overcome potential challenges faced when implementing sustainability strategies. Ali also highlighted the importance of providing an efficient support service to companies throughout their journey to carbon neutrality and net zero. Ali finished off his talk with a Q&A.
Multiple attendees made use of the 60 second pitch opportunity, including Climate Stewards, Frank Water, Digital Detox and Redshaw Advisors. Before the event finished, everyone was able to network in person or using facilitated breakout rooms online. A huge thank you to the speakers and attendees of this event, without which our events calendar would not be possible.
Write up by Beth Gerrard, Level 3 BSc Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science Student, University of the West of England.