Arcus FM sets 2040 net-zero target

British facilities management firm Arcus FM has set a 2040 net-zero target and will seek to verify its aims to cut emissions through the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

Arcus FM sets 2040 net-zero target

Image: Arcus FM

The company has this week committed to reducing emissions across all scopes by 90%, by 2040, against the baseline of the 2021/22 financial year. Residual emissions will then be neutralised with offsetting. This long-term commitment is, in theory, aligned with the SBTi’s net-zero standard, which requires businesses to reduce emissions across all scopes by at least 90% by 2050 at the latest.

Arcus FM has also stated that it will set emissions reduction targets through to 2030 across all scopes and seek to have them verified in line with a 1.5C temperature pathway by the SBTi.

It is proposing a 42% reduction in Scope 1 (direct), Scope 2 (power-related) and Scope 3 (indirect) emissions by 2030, again against a 2021/22 baseline. 67% of Arcus FM’s Scope 3 emissions would be covered by the proposed target.

It bears noting that around 46% of Arcus FM’s total emissions footprint lies in Scope 1 and around 54% lies in Scope 3. The remainder of emissions are from Scope 2 sources. The company has emphasised that, as it provides B2B services, it is important for it to address its own Scope 1 emissions as they form the Scope 3 emissions for clients.

The main sources of Scope 1 emissions for Arcus FM are gas use, refrigerant use, power generators and company vehicles.

Plans for addressing vehicle emissions include transitioning vans and company cars to zero-emission alternatives including electric vehicles (EVs); encouraging staff to travel fewer business miles in personal cars and improving virtual meeting technology to prevent unnecessary journeys.

Regarding energy use across estates, Arcus FM has stated that energy efficiency improvements are a priority action area. This will be built upon by procuring more renewable energy and ensuring it provides additionality; fitting low-carbon heating systems; upgrading refrigerants and reducing water use.

To address Scope 3 emissions, Arcus FM has stated that it will develop a framework to assess how far each of its suppliers are on their own net-zero journey. It will also develop and deliver a new supplier engagement framework on emissions, coupled with new support for suppliers that may lack sustainability expertise or be pressed for resources. Suppliers will, crucially, be educated on the interconnections between the circular economy and reducing emissions.

Arcus FM has not yet confirmed its approach to offsetting. It has stated that it needs more time to make “careful considerations” around the most effective approach while avoiding potential greenwashing pitfalls and unintended negative consequences in fields such as food security and land rights.

In a statement sent to media, Arcus FM wrote: “The topic of environment and sustainability is nothing new in the facilities management sector and has been a hot topic for many years with companies launching a plethora of initiatives. [But] the UN is now describing the climate crisis as a ‘code red for humanity’, and the universal aim to not allow temperatures to rise to more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is being described as “still possible, but we are dangerously close to that threshold” by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“More concerted and all-encompassing actions are needed by all businesses to answer this call.”

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