The Gym Group Archives - Simply Sustainable

Simply Sustainable

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In 2022 and 2023, Simply Sustainable partnered with The Gym Group to support the recalculation of its base year carbon footprints, the development of its net zero targets, and the submission of these targets to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi).

Setting a long-term decarbonisation target aligned to science is important as it provides a company with a clearly defined path to reduce its operational and supply chain emissions in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. This process involves understanding what an appropriate base year and final year is to achieve a target by, what is a suitably ambitious target for a company to commit to and how to effectively communicate this to internal and external stakeholders so that customers and an employee community can understand what this means for their workplace and favourite gym. At Simply Sustainable, we encourage our clients to be transparent about the environmental impacts of their business activities and set ambitious targets to reduce these impacts.

The targets

  • Overall net-zero target: The Gym Group commits to reach net-zero GHG emissions across the value chain by 2045.
  • Near-term targets: The Gym Group commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 from a 2019 base year. The Gym Group also commits to increase active annual sourcing of renewable electricity from 23.25% in 2019 to 100% by 2030. The Gym Group further commits to reduce scope 3 GHG emissions covering purchased goods and services, capital goods, fuel and energy related activities, upstream transportation and distribution, waste generated in operations, business travel, and employee commuting by 55% per gym by 2030 from a 2019 base year.
  • The Gym Group commits to ensuring 25% of its suppliers, covering purchased goods, services and capital goods, will have science-based targets by 2028.
  • Long-term targets: The Gym Group commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 90% by 2045 from a 2019 base year. The Gym Group commits to reduce scope 3 GHG emissions by 97% per gym within the same timeframe.

Impacts and benefits

  • We calculated The Gym Group’s base year and most recent year emissions establishing a base year which will reflect its business activity in the future using the SBTis Net zero standard and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
  • We set The Gym Group’s target aligned to the science across the near and long term as well as across scopes 1 and 2 and scope 3. Determining that an intensity target against its number of gyms is most appropriate for measuring reduction in its scope 3 emissions.
  • We collated an evidence pack and the submission to SBTi, as well as responding to validation processes from SBTi.

The results

The Gym Group have successfully had its net zero target approved by the SBTi meaning that it is the first gym or health and fitness club in the world to have an approved target.

The Gym Group will continue to transparently report its emissions and progress against its net zero targets through its annual report.


We are proud to be leaders in sustainability and remain committed to working with expert partners like Simply Sustainable to ensure we can meet the high standards we set ourselves. Cornelia Woschek Sustainability Director, The Gym Group

The story

Between August 2022 and December 2023, Simply Sustainable supported The Gym Group, a leader in the gym, hospitality and leisure sector, as they built from carbon neutrality to setting a decarbonisation target aligned to the science. To achieve this, they would need to first understand their operational and supply chain emissions as well as understand what net zero emissions looks like for The Gym Group.

The Gym Group had been responding to mandatory energy and carbon emissions reporting covering scope 1, 2 and limited scope 3 categories through Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) since 2017.

To translate the extent of The Gym Group’s emissions across its supply chain the first step was to understand which scope 3 categories were relevant to The Gym Group. This was achieved through analysis of a range of ESG reporting frameworks and disclosures.

Simply Sustainable supported The Gym Group through the development of a data collection tool and worked with key personnel to collect and collate data, determining a long-term strategy for annual emissions reporting.

Simply Sustainable then calculated and analysed the carbon footprint in alignment with best practice guidance from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and SBTi using a range of region and sector specific emission conversion factors, to ensure that The Gym Group’s carbon footprint was complete and accurate.

Submission to SBTi enables a company to formulate a plan to reach its net zero target across its operations and supply chain and to identify which aspects of their business will be critical for decarbonisation in the long term and what is low hanging fruit. The Gym Group had already developed a plan to reduce emissions associated with its sites and how feasible different energy efficiency measures and on-site renewable energy generation could be. The result of the submission and scope 3 calculation was that The Gym Group can now see which suppliers and products are most important for meeting its net zero target, which suppliers are aligned in their own commitments to decarbonisation and which will require urgency and further engagement in order to support The Gym Group on its net zero journey.

Quantifying a company’s impact through a carbon footprint enables a business to respond to a range of mandatory disclosures and policies such as Climate-related Financial Disclosures (CFD) and Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) as well as to better understand how to engage suppliers or select products and inform stakeholders. This commitment to a science aligned net zero target shows The Gym Group’s dedication to a brighter and more responsible future.

To find out how Simply Sustainable can help you develop your carbon footprint or net zero strategy , request a call-back from one of our team of experts.

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Ambitions for net-zero

Simply Sustainable have partnered The Gym Group on a range of value-added activities that set targets to align with net-zero ambitions.

Impacts and benefits

  • Accurate and robust measurement of carbon footprint to meet international standards
  • Identified clear set of priority sustainability issues for the business to focus approach
  • Data verification and auditing to achieve the Carbon Neutral certification and become the UK’s first carbon neutral gym chain

The story

Simply Sustainable believe that the call to action is clear, businesses have the largest part to play to achieve net-zero. Setting carbon reduction targets that are science-based demonstrate that a company is doing their fair share to achieve the ambitions of the UN Paris Agreement and limit the impacts of climate change to well below 2°C warming, whilst pursuing efforts to limit to 1.5°C.

In 2021, two years after the relationship commenced, Simply Sustainable supported The Gym Group with a materiality assessment to ensure they have a focused approach on the issues that count to their stakeholders and the business. Our support covered a transformative suite of services which included carbon footprinting, an approved submission to the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi), and Carbon Neutral Certification. After working closely with The Gym Group to set the organisational boundary of Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, specialist guidance and recommendations were developed which set out requirements that The Gym Group must follow to report all material emissions in alignment with the science-based targets 1.5°C emissions scenario.

Our work also led to the successful SBTi submission and publicly disclosed commitment which clearly communicates to stakeholders The Gym Group’s greenhouse gas reduction programme in support of a net-zero economy. This translates vision into action and is consistent with achieving a net-zero economy by aligning targets to the latest climate science necessary to meet the goals of the UN Paris Agreement. We were particularly pleased to be a key advisor in The Gym Group’s attainment of becoming the UK’s first carbon neutral gym chain. We supported The Gym Group to calculate, account for, and verify the business’s carbon emissions to ensure responsibility for residual emissions. The Gym Group then selected socially-purposeful carbon reduction programmes, for example offsetting projects in Ghana. The gold and verified standard programmes work closely with local farmers to provide efficiency and mitigation benefits that contribute to the just transition.

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