Facilities management giant Mitie sets 2025 net-zero carbon target
British facilities management (FM) firm Mitie has set a net-zero carbon target for 2025, which it claims is the most ambitious in the national FM sector.
In order to meet the new target, announced today (20 February), Mitie has set our a three-pillar decarbonisation plan centred around power and transport; waste; and the energy efficiency of buildings.
The power proportion of the overall plan, called Plan Zero, binds Mitie to source 100% renewable electricity for operations through subsidy-free Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and to switch to low-carbon heating systems before offsetting any residual emissions from heat.
On transport, Mitie has pledged to reduce business travel “to a minimum” by investing in technologies that enable videoconferencing and teleconferencing and to develop procedures that ensure all remaining business trips are made using low-emission or zero-emission modes of transport. It has also pledged to switch 100% of its fleet with pure electric vehicles (EVs), up from the current proportion of 20%. Mitie claims that 90% of its carbon footprint in 2018 could be attributed to transport.
The energy-efficient buildings proportion of Plan Zero states that Mitie will not choose any new offices unless they have been awarded BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification, or re-sign leases on offices with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) grade below ‘A’.
Mindful of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s finding that 45% of global emissions can be attributed to linear models of consumption, the other pillar of Plan Zero binds Mitie to eradicating “all non-sustainable waste”. It includes measures to remove all single-use items from operations and to switch to cleaning products certified as natural, non-toxic and biodegradable.
Looking to the future, Mitie has said it will help its clients set and meet their own net-zero targets by launching a new package of bespoke services. The firm’s sustainability director Simon King said this move will ensure that Mitie shows climate leadership “not just within [its] own industry but across wider UK business too”.
“The climate emergency is a problem that we all need to take responsibility for - if we have any chance of solving it, then businesses need to take bold action now,” King said.
“We’re putting the expertise within our business into action…. Over the next five years, and beyond, this will simply become how Mitie does business and we hope many more companies will join us on this journey.”
The announcement from Mitie comes in the same week that the latest analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) revealed that around half of global GDP is now covered by nations, regions and cities that are legislating for a net-zero emissions target.
In contrast, the proportion stood at just 16% 18 months ago. The IPCC’s special report on warming of 1.5C vs 2C is widely credited as the news which took net-zero from theory to strategy.
Within the UK business space specifically, Sir Robert McAlpine this week set a net-zero target for 2024.
Launching edie's Net-Zero Live 2020
The UK’s largest energy and sustainability event has been transformed into Net-Zero Live, a free-to-attend experience which will unite businesses, policymakers, investors, NGOs, product and solutions providers around a common purpose: to spark new ideas and actions on the path to a net-zero carbon future.
Net-Zero Live will take place on 10-11 November 2020 at Birmingham's NEC. Find out more, including details about agendas for the four theatres, and register for your free delegate pass here.