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Reducing Scope 3 emissions:

Planning for net zero: 
Help is at hand, so you don’t have to wing it

When it comes to your net zero plan, are you moving forward, or burying your head in the sand?

Published: 25/01/2024

Achieving net zero is the ultimate team effort, and we want to share the benefits of the lessons we’ve learnt.

By Grace Segrave, Sustainability Manager.

So, what are you… An ostrich or an emu?

Let me explain the ornithological analogy. Two birds, two vastly different characteristics. One famed – albeit something of an urban myth – for sticking its head in the sand and ignoring what’s going on. The other, chosen to sit on the Australian coat of arms, opposite the kangaroo, because like its marsupial mate, emus are incapable of taking a backward step.

When it comes to your sustainability strategy, your plans to tackle scope 3 and your ambition to achieve carbon net zero, it’s easy to make a case for being at either end of the scale.

But whether your head is planted, or you are determined to only ever make forward progress, we’ve got some good news for you.

Using our experience

Having started our sustainability journey 18 years ago, you won’t be surprised when we say that we have learnt a huge amount about reducing carbon emissions. Since 2006, our carbon intensity (our emissions per £1million of revenue) has been reduced by 89% and we are on track to hit the net zero 2028 target we signed up to with the Science Based Targets initiative.

Add to that, the many partnerships we’ve formed, the governing bodies that we subscribe to and organisations that we readily, and openly work with, we’ve come to know a thing or two about successfully overcoming challenges, and that’s a positive that we can share.

The biggest challenge

Scope 3 remains the biggest issue. And understandably so. Indeed, we’re often asked the question: How do I reduce emissions over which I have no direct control?

Based on our experience and based on how we have helped other organisations, here’s how we can help:

Work with organisations who share scope 3 information

Because this is somewhat new ground, a lot of the information isn’t readily available, and when it exists it can often be an assumed number or average.

We work with the Planet Mark, who are the standard bearers in the sector.

They provide thorough independent evaluation of our supply chain emissions, which means we can pass on accurate scope 3 data and information to our customers.

Think about the carbon cost of deliveries

We often live in a world where next day delivery is expected, but why? It’s perhaps the easiest way to envisage a carbon cost – to see fumes being produced from the exhaust of a delivery van or lorry, but there are ways to cut those emissions.

We have invested in EV Vans, powered by our own solar array, and PowerBI software that allows us to reduce the emissions of our own deliveries and consolidate third-party deliveries.

Make a sustainable purchasing choice

A few years ago, none of us had probably heard of the phrase single use plastic, but now we have made informed purchasing decisions to cut them from our consumption.

SUP free products are included within Products with Purpose – our range of business essentials that are hand-picked by our sustainability and procurement experts because they meet rigorous environmental and social standards.

We’re increasing our Products with Purpose range of sustainable office essentials and aim to sell products entirely from that range by 2028.

Make it a team thing.

Tackling scope 3 requires engagement and commitment from your team, so what better way to encourage that, than have them play a part in the decision-making process.

We have run a successful Change Champions programme for nearly a decade, where our people challenge themselves in leadership roles and work together to create positive environmental and social initiatives.

We have helped to establish successful Change Champion programme at a number of clients too.

Make Allies

You are not alone. There are others out there trying to navigate their way through some difficult targets. So why not share the love a little?

In the past two years, our co-founder and MD, Simone Hindmarch, has donated more than 100 hours of her time to talk to organisations about what we have learnt.

We share our story about the importance of becoming a purpose led organisation and how our sustainability journey at Commercial has become our biggest superpower.

And those are always two-way conversations, where we can learn as much ourselves too. We’re all in it together, after all.

Our continued commitment

We’re determined to support our clients in their own sustainability journey. That’s why, this year, we will be delivering bespoke scope 3 emissions reports to our customers, free of charge.

At a time when many are paying consultants to better understand their scope 3, our aim is to be known for being a trusted supply chain partner who is working to help companies achieve their goals but more importantly help the UK and world achieve its Net-Zero goals.

Those reports will be backed by independent analysis from The Planet Mark, giving customers the confidence that we are providing verified, accurate numbers and not approximations or averages.

Don’t just take our word for it

Perhaps more importantly, we don’t just say something and not subscribe ourselves to the highest possible rigour and standards. I’ve already mentioned our work alongside the Planet Mark, and our commitment with the SBTi to achieve carbon net zero by 2028, these two partnerships are of vital importance to us.

We’re also rated as EcoVadis Gold standard, meaning we’re marked as one of the top 10% companies for sustainable practices in the world by leading measurement companies.

Our strategy is not about saying ‘look at us, aren’t we great,’ because that only does so much. It is by working together up and downstream, with our suppliers and customers that we can achieve the biggest, most holistic, impact.

It’s about being brave and being prepared to stick our necks out and make positive steps, alongside everyone in our value chain. Because the only way we win the race to net zero, is by crossing the line together.


Other areas of interest

We offer more than just software support: our specialists are here to maximise the potential of your business, enhance efficiency, and create a smarter, safer business environment for you.

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