Anthesis targets three gigatons of carbon mitigation and removal by 2030

Anthesis' corporate clients include Amazon

The business announced the new ambition today (8 March) after securing a multi-million-pound investment from Palatine Private Equity. Anthesis has not disclosed the figure but claimed that it is “significant” and will see Palatine owning a minority stake. Palatine has used investment from its Buyout Fund and Impact Fund to complete the deal.

Under the plans, Anthesis will increase its impact investment in projects specifically designed to mitigate emissions, like electric transport, and remove carbon, including nature-based climate solutions and man-made carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. It has named carbon remediation along with product circularity and land-use changes as priority focus areas.

Anthesis will also work to develop net-zero strategies for the entities in which it invests and supports, including small businesses and corporates across a range of major sectors, as well as bodies representing cities and nations. The strategies will be informed by science-based targets.

Through this two-pronged approach, it believes it can help deliver the avoidance, reduction and removal of at least three gigatons of carbon by the end of 2030. For context, the US emits 5.29 gigatons of CO2e every year and the UK emits 0.37 gigatons.

“Our market is now awake to the reality of climate impact and the need for unsustainable brands and organisational models to transform,” Anthesis’ chief executive Stuart McLachlan said.

“Anthesis is positioned in the middle of these commercial and sustainable performance drivers. We are constantly looking at how we can scale our impact by helping our clients navigate through these constraints, risks and opportunities.”

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Beyond operational impact

There is a growing consensus that modern corporate sustainability efforts should do more than simply addressing an organisation’s operational footprint.

In light of the fact that the average company’s Scope 3 (indirect) emissions are five-and-a-half-times greater than those generated by their direct emissions, according to CDP, the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) requires most corporates to develop specific reduction targets if they wish to claim alignment with 1.5C.

For firms like Anthesis, the majority of Scope 3 emissions can fall into the projects carried out by clients. Even if corporate accounting methods do not cover these emissions, there is a growing trend towards accountability. Capgemini, for example, is striving to help clients reduce their emissions by 500,000 tonnes of CO2e by 2030. This figure is 20 times higher than the firm’s own annual global climate footprint.

Beyond Scope 3 emissions, the argument that businesses should account for the entirety of their impact across all social and environmental issues has become more heated against the backdrop of Covid-19. Futerra’s chief solutionist and co-founder Solitaire Townsend has been calling on businesses to recognise their ‘Scope X’ impacts – the entirety of their impacts on society, including those generated indirectly – and leverage this reach to go beyond ‘doing less bad’ and deliver a net-positive impact.

Sarah George

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