What does today’s COP26 announcement mean for UK businesses? Ripple’s business development manager, Simeon Pollard, explains how businesses can be apart of the net zero transition and how Ripple can help facilitate the drive towards providing simple, tangible solutions to help them achieve this goal.
Today’s COP26 announcement focused on the Treasury’s new rules whereby many big UK businesses will be forced to set out detailed public plans for how they will move to a low carbon future as part of the UK’s effort to accelerate towards its net zero goals. An expert panel will set the standards the plans need to meet to ensure they are not just spin. Firms and their shareholders will be left to decide how their businesses adapt to this transition, including how they intend to decarbonise.
What does today’s announcement mean for UK businesses?
- It’s an important first step to bring businesses into the conversion, and today’s announcement encourages them to act quickly. The new deadline requires them to have robust plans outlining the steps they are taking to reduce their emissions in just 2 years. Although we are yet to see detail on how the proposed expert panel will set the standards required, the need to weed out any greenwashing or spin from the plans will be key to create long lasting sustainable change that makes a real lasting impact.
Have you noticed a shift in engagement with businesses looking for effective net zero strategies?
- Over the last 6 months we have seen a huge rise in demand from businesses, both large and small across a wide number of industries and sectors, coming to us at Ripple seeking real, tangible solutions. Household names have contacted us to look at either part-owning a wind farm or Ripple as an employee benefit for their team. These businesses want to be ahead of the game, but it’s been a tough time for many of them out there. They are looking for solutions that will not place additional strain on their business at a time when many are attempting to stabilise their growth.
- Research conducted by Ripple this month suggests 74% of UK adults are more inclined to buy products or services from a company which has implemented measures to reduce their carbon footprint*. With both public opinion changing and today’s announcement, it does feel like the time has really come for businesses to step up and make bold, impactful changes to how their organisations are run for a cleaner, greener future.
What do you think businesses should prioritise when creating their net zero strategies?
- In my experience, businesses care about 3 main things when creating a sustainability plan: simplicity, impact and cost. There are many solutions out there which business can turn to to help them on this journey. But when I’ve engaged with business leaders and owners, they are demanding greener energy options with real impact. They are not looking to meet their net zero goals with “paper-based” solutions that don’t actually drive any change. Neither are they looking for overly complex solutions that are costly or difficult to implement that negatively impact their business in the short term.
How is Ripple helping UK businesses achieve their net zero goals?
- Ripple is making genuine climate leadership easier than ever for businesses in a way that is tangible, transparent and demonstrable to that business’ customers, shareholders and employees. We enable businesses to revolutionise the way they power their operation by part-owning a wind farm, alongside other Ripple members, which supplies their business with green, zero carbon electricity via the grid. This means businesses can easily be fully powered with their own source of renewable electricity without a complex PPA or just a green tariff which doesn’t provide any additionality. Powering their business in this way transforms their carbon footprint. We’re building the UK’s first ever 100% member owned wind farms. Over 1.1 million kg of CO2 will be saved per year from Ripple’s first wind farm, located in South Wales and reservations are open for our second, much larger wind farm which will have an even greater generation capacity. As they are owning part of a brand new wind farm, it is offering them genuine impact beyond a green tariff as they’re directly increasing the UK’s renewable generation rather than just buying what already exists. And as that generation data is transparently available to the business, they are able to demonstrate their impact easily and incorporate it into their sustainability reporting.
- Plus, as onshore wind is the UK’s cheapest form of electricity, it locks in low and stable energy prices for the lifetime of the wind farm, meaning businesses can enjoy certainty and peace of mind for the long term, knowing they are more protected against the volatile market rate.
A final thought on COP26? What are your hopes from world leaders over the coming week?
- I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of the next 2 weeks, but now is the time for action rather than just words and we at Ripple are empowering UK businesses with real tangible solutions in the here and now which will help them accelerate their net zero agenda faster and easier than ever before. We have the solutions ready and available to us. What we need now is bold and clear leadership to ensure we roll out these solutions at the required pace and scale.
1- Nationally representative survey of 2,000 UK adults conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Ripple Energy from 12th-14th October 2021