A coalition of major organisations has announced the launch of a new platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to curb carbon emissions, build business resilience and gain competitive advantage.
The SME Climate Hub – co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, the We Mean Business coalition and the UN Race to Zero campaign – will encourage SMEs to commit to halving greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and achieving net zero emissions before 2050, in addition to disclosing progress on a yearly basis.
Those SMEs making this commitment, which will be globally recognised by the UN Race to Zero campaign, will be able to take advantage of accessible tools and resources to help them reduce emissions and build business resilience while unlocking direct commercial incentives.
The co-hosts of the platform believe SMEs have been largely underserved by climate action initiatives to date despite making up around 90% of business worldwide and employing more than two billion people.
They see the initiative as an opportunity to enable emissions reductions at large scale.
Several major multinational corporations, including Ericsson, IKEA, Telia, BT Group and Unilever, that have set targets to reach net zero emissions in their value chains have committed to support the SME Climate Hub through a new ‘1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders’ group.
ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said: “Addressing climate change has never been so business critical. We are delighted to partner with like-minded organisations to bring to life the SME Climate Hub and help support the companies that make up the backbone of our global economy, in the face of the increasing risks of climate change. We want to make it as easy as possible for small and medium-sized businesses to protect and grow their business.”
Nigel Topping, UK High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26 added: “The SME Climate Hub will support companies to expand their climate commitments across their entire value chain, enabling SMEs – which represent over 90% of the world’s businesses – to Race to Zero.
“This will be an exciting turning point and we look forward to seeing exponential growth in corporate net zero commitments as we work towards COP26.”