Accelerating climate neutral transitions
The 2015 Paris climate deal is driving the implementation of energy consumption and emission reduction targets across all sectors of society. The retail sector faces particular challenges in reducing its impact, due to the prevalence of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), narrow profit margins, split incentives between building owners and tenants, and the advent of online ordering through web-based shops. Therefore, Ecomatters started the Climate Neutral SME initiative for the retail sector, which specifically focuses on aiding SMEs in their carbon reduction transitions. Together with the industry organisation INretail, the municipality of Utrecht, and our funder the Redevco Foundation, we will challenge the status quo and speed-up the transition to a carbon-neutral retail sector.
How it works
The Climate Neutral SMEs initiative is geared towards supporting SME’s in becoming climate neutral (i.e. net zero CO2 emissions). For this purpose, a calculation module has been developed that can be used to asses utility (energy and water) consumption rates and calculate CO2 emissions. The module is supported by a suite of sustainability measures, which can be directly implemented by SME’s. This helps them become compliant with energy saving regulations like the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), and the ‘Wet Milieubeheer’ (which is specific to the Netherlands). For those SMEs that are really ambitious, the project will help them transition fully to be truly carbon neutral.
This project delivers a tailor-made program to individual SMEs, making climate neutrality pathways more accessible for small enterprises in the retail sector. This is unique among existing approaches (i.e. existing sustainability certification schemes) by specifically not targeting frontrunners. The climate neutral transition needs to come from a collective effort, and this can be achieved by engaging entrepreneurs. Furthermore, there needs to be a focus on personalised support in reducing the burden of legislative compliance combined with achievable investment planning.
If you find it daunting to deal with energy savings regulations or have ambitions to become climate neutral retailer, then don’t hesitate to reach out to Eelco or Max to hear more about the program and learn how you can join the movement.
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