Grosvenor Property UK posts success with supplier engagement on science-based climate targets

Pictured: An artist's impression of Grosvenor's 'Ice Box' commercial redevelopment in central London

The business, best known for its property development and management in Mayfair, London, set its own climate targets for 2030 that were verified by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) in 2021. It subsequently signed on to the SBTi’s net-zero standard, in a first for the European property sector. The standard requires the firm to reduce emissions across all scopes by at least 90% by its target deadline of 2040, against its target baseline of 2019. This includes Scope 3 (indirect) emissions.

To enable the reduction of indirect emissions in the supply chain, Grosvenor Property UK worked with SME climate mentorship organisation Heart of the City to deliver a free eight-month mentorship programme for its small and medium-sized suppliers. It has this week revealed that 27 of the suppliers that participated in this programme have either already had their targets verified by the SBTi, or are set to achieve verification in the coming months.

This is a significant number, given that only 140 or so SME suppliers to the built environment sector in the UK currently have SBTi-verified targets.

Under the scheme, suppliers were provided with workshops and one-on-one meetings to assist with measuring their emissions baseline; developing science-based targets to reduce emissions and drawing up credible action plans to decarbonise their business in line with these targets. They were also supported through the SBTi’s verification process.

Grosvenor Property UK estimates that the delivery of all 27 suppliers’ targets will abate around 55,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2030.

The business’s sustainability programme director Victoria Herring described uptake for the scheme as “fantastic” and confirmed that she and her team will now assess how the programme can be expanded to other parts of Grosvenor Property UK’s supply chain.

Herring said: “Our SME partners are incredibly supportive of our environmental ambitions, but they don’t have the resources of larger businesses. Transformative partnerships are a key part of our own net-zero ambition. And, as a critical part of our supply chain we created this programme to help SMEs on their journey but also to support them in remaining competitive with clients.”

Heart of the City is now encouraging other larger businesses operating in London to consider partnering to launch their own supplier engagement and support schemes.

CDP estimates that the average large multinational company will generate more than five times the greenhouse gas emissions of its operations through its supply chain. As such, setting credible targets for suppliers is fast becoming seen as a key component of a credible corporate climate strategy.

Late last year, British soft drinks major Britvic wrote to its key suppliers across Europe, collectively responsible for at least 70% of its Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, inviting them to set science-based climate targets. It emphasised that engagement would be crucial for the delivery of its 2050 net-zero target and aim to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 35% by 2025, against 2019 levels.

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