Carbon & Just transition Archives - Simply Sustainable

Simply Sustainable

Cembra MoneyBank logo

At Simply Sustainable, we recognise that as companies begin to decarbonise, they must leave no one behind, and ensure that the social impacts and benefits of the transition to a low-carbon economy are considered.

Impacts and benefits

  • Accurate measurement of carbon footprint, including all relevant scope 1, 2 and 3 emission categories, in line with internationally recognised standards.
  • Preparation of the Environmental Stewardship chapter of Cembra’s 2022 Annual Report, including support for obtaining external limited assurance.
  • Engaging employees and upskilling departments within Cembra, increasing their confidence and knowledge about carbon accounting and reporting.

We were very happy with Simply Sustainable’s work, its expert insights and guidance, which has set us off on a good start in our journey towards reducing our emissions. Marcus Händel Head of Investor Relations and Sustainability, Cembra Money Bank AG

The story

Cembra Money Bank AG (Cembra) — a Swiss-registered bank that provides financial solutions and services to around 1.1 million customers — sought support to enhance its approach to identifying and assessing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Simply Sustainable was delighted to support Cembra in this endeavour, with the aim of ensuring its GHG emissions are measured and reported in line with international best practice.

Project overview

The finance sector plays a critical role in decarbonising to help limit global warming to well below 2°C (preferably to 1.5°C) in line with the Paris Agreement. Due to their direct control over what they invest in, which subsequently influences what other businesses and individuals can buy or build, banks and other financial institutions are instrumental in driving emission reductions across supply chains worldwide.

In 2022, Simply Sustainable calculated Cembra’s carbon footprints for their 2021 and 2022 reporting periods. Working closely with key stakeholders, Cembra’s GHG emissions were calculated in line with international best practice, including the GHG Protocol: Corporate Standard (2004:2015), the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) Financed Emissions (Part A, 2022), and the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) Financial Institutions (2022).

Following a comprehensive GHG screening and inventory analysis, we ensured that all material scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions from Cembra’s business activities were accounted for in the carbon footprint. With the refinement of the carbon accounting methodology, Cembra’s previous 2021 carbon footprint was recalculated to include all materially relevant emission categories. In response to new guidance issued by the PCAF in December 2022, Cembra calculated the emissions associated with its vehicle investment portfolio for the first time.

The analysis explored all aspects of Cembra’s emissions footprint, including those arising from the value chain (commonly referred to as ‘scope 3 emissions’) and revealed the areas of the business that contributed the largest proportion of emissions (i.e., emission hotspots). Taken together, the findings from the 2021 and 2022 carbon footprints informed the Environmental Stewardship chapter of Cembra’s 2022 Annual Report, which obtained external limited assurance.

To find out how Simply Sustainable can help you on your carbon journey, request a call-back from one of our team of experts.

At Simply Sustainable we develop tailored, robust strategies that are designed to guide our clients to achieve a step-change in their ESG and sustainability performance, creating long-term value and delivering positive impacts on people and the environment.

WSH logo

Impacts and benefits

  • Development of an ambitious and robust, group-wide Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy
  • Agreed comprehensive ESG ambitions, KPIs and targets aligned to best practice sustainability frameworks and industry standards
  • Placed internal and external stakeholder needs at the heart of WSH’s strategic approach to ESG
  • Recommended ESG governance frameworks to facilitate the delivery of the strategy.

The story

We were delighted to begin working with WSH, a hospitality business with a host of brands across the UK, Ireland and Europe. This was a fantastic opportunity to support WSH on their mission to develop the business’ first group-wide ESG and sustainability strategy.

From the outset of the project our strategic planning priorities were to acquire a thorough understanding of WSH’s heritage, company culture, external drivers, core operations and goals. Engagement with internal and external stakeholders was fundamental to developing a strategy which personified WSH’s rich heritage and culture. Over 300 stakeholders were surveyed or interviewed, including WSH and subsidiary brand senior leaders, customers and suppliers. This gave us broad-ranging, deep insights into the business priorities. Along with a business impact evaluation for each topic, we produced a comprehensive Double Materiality assessment.

The outcomes of the Double Materiality assessment were complemented with a review of the business’ external ESG drivers to determine the priority ESG topics and key objectives for the strategy.

In September 2021 we started working with the team at Simply Sustainable to create our group-wide ESG strategy. We really valued their expertise at each stage of the strategy development, as well as the professional and personable relationship we maintained throughout the project. We now feel confident that we have an ESG strategy that will put us in a strong position to negate the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities that the future holds. Andy Milner Procurement and Supply Chain Director, WSH

With the strategic framework in place and consideration of key external drivers and best practice we worked with the leadership team at WSH to co-create a comprehensive set of KPIs and targets with focused objectives. In order to successfully integrate the strategy, we produced a series of focused target action plans covering a period of 18-months. Since the conclusion of the project, we have continued to support WSH through a retained support agreement focused on the development and initiating of a new ESG governance and resourcing framework to ensure the effective allocation of resources and delivery of the strategy.

The final strategy builds upon WSH’s strong heritage of social and environmental performance across its subsidiary brands and the business’ commitment to become an ESG leader within their industry.

To find out how the Simply Sustainable team can help you on your ESG and sustainability journey request a call back here.


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Asahi UK logo

Sustainability training that empowers Asahi UK’s workforce

Asahi Europe and International established its landmark ‘Legacy 2030’ strategy, committing to running operations in harmony with nature and outlining the vision behind its sustainability efforts. Following the successful delivery of the ‘Planet Essentials’ learning module for Asahi UK’s Sustainability Steering Group in 2021, Simply Sustainable was pleased to have been chosen to work with Asahi UK again on embedding the ‘Planet’ pillar of the ‘Legacy 2030’ strategy across its UK operations. To achieve this, our team developed a tailored and technical training package to embed Asahi UK’s robust sustainability strategy across the UK employee base.

Impacts and benefits

  • Provided foundation-level knowledge to non-sustainability professionals on the key environmental issues relevant to Asahi UK. 
  • Upskilled the Asahi UK workforce by communicating the Four Planet environmental targets relating to carbon, water, sustainable sourcing and circular packaging. 
  • Highlighted current projects and progress of the company, whilst facilitating discussions on future projects and opportunities. 
  • Aligned activity to Asahi UK’s corporate values and behaviours. 
  • Built employee confidence in the subjects of sustainability and environment, based on post-survey feedback. 
  • Maximised engagement in the business across their sites in the UK through in-person and virtual sessions, with an increase in environmental ideas and projects from attendees. 

The story

From our 12 years of experience in management consulting, Simply Sustainable knows that the core to transforming our clients’ businesses is integrating sustainability into all thinking and actions. This is only successful when people are informed, engaged and inspired. Recognising this, Asahi UK wanted to empower its employees to feel confident in the subject of sustainability, ESG, key environmental issues relevant to the business and the four environmental targets centred on the ‘Planet’ pillar of Legacy 2030.  

Developed by our sustainability experts and qualified consultants, the programme guided participants through a professionally-delivered learning and development module by: 

  • Introducing the concepts of sustainability with a focus on the latest science and best practice surrounding the four Legacy 2030 ‘Planet’ topics that address carbon neutrality, water scarcity, sustainable sourcing and circular packaging.  
  • Providing an overview of the business case for sustainable corporate practices. 
  • Creating dynamic discussions around communicating sustainability, the UK Green Claims Code and the collaboration needed to reach net-zero. 
  • Delivering engaging content which enables all colleagues to confidently explain Asahi UK’s sustainability strategy, targets and current progress. 

As a truly specialised sustainability consultancy, Simply Sustainable is uniquely positioned to support the learning and development on sustainability. The programme achieved a 65%+ attendance rate, with over 140 employees engaging across both modules, resulting in a total of over 450 learning hours. Through the delivery of these interactive training sessions; and pre- and post- course materials, Asahi UK achieved greater awareness and understanding of its sustainability strategy and targets across its workforce.

To find out how Simply Sustainable can help you educate your workforce Request a call back from one of our team.

The Gym Group Logo

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.

Bringing a new strategy to life at EE

We worked alongside EE to successfully integrate sustainability across the business as part of a long-term package of support.

Impacts and benefits

  • Rated sector leader in leading responsible business benchmark
  • Carbon footprint reduced by 41% over 5 years
  • Ranked 7th best big company to work for in Sunday Times
  • 1 million people supported to develop their digital skills
  • ‘Activated’ nearly 400 employees across the UK

Amazing work – thank you to you all for the many, many hours you’ve put into building our strategy, implementing it and then reporting on it in the Index. Dan Perlet Former Director of Corporate and Financial Affairs, EE

The story

Simply Sustainable is known for being a practical and inspiring consultancy so helping our clients to integrate sustainability into what they do and how they think is a great fit for us. That’s why, having developed EE’s new responsibility strategy, we were ideally placed to support its integration across the business as part of this long-term partnership.

We know that this requires a holistic approach, working at every level of the organisation. Here we started at the top, guiding leadership to advocate for sustainability and creating a strong governance and management structure which included feedback loops between the Board and core functions and established an external board of experts to advise and challenge the business.

Next, working across core functions in the business, we turned to identifying and developing the policies and processes needed to embed sustainability priorities into EE’s ways of working, before establishing the KPIs and systems that would drive accountability via monthly performance reporting.

EE’s workforce is diverse and varied so naturally, engagement and ownership of this agenda is a key priority. To address this, we worked with in-house teams to co-create and deliver a series of engagement events across the UK designed to ‘activate’ their interest in the social and environmental issues core to EE’s approach and their role in supporting company ambitions.

Elsewhere, we supported EE in partnership and programme development, reporting and benchmarking – a whole package tailored and delivered over time to bring sustainability to life in the business.

Stirring stuff: changing the environment at Costa Express

We developed an exciting new environmental strategy for Costa Express, designed to drive engagement and behaviour change, while satisfying stakeholders.

Impacts and benefits

  • ISO 14001 certification achieved within 12 months
  • Upskilled, empowered workforce
  • Sustainability goals aligned with business strategy
  • Embedding of sustainable thinking in company ethos

A pleasure to work with Simply Sustainable, your immeasurable knowledge, drive and hard work led us through to achieve ISO 14001 certification and develop our environmental strategy Nick Orrin Global Operations Director, Costa Express

The story

Costa Express asked Simply Sustainable to develop an engagement and behaviour change strategy that would both improve the company’s environmental performance and meet stakeholder expectations.

Core to the strategy is environmental management system standard ISO 14001, which we supported in implementing throughout the process, receiving certification within 12 months.

We have continued to work with the company, and over the past four years we have: upskilled employees with face to face and online training; empowered leaders to consider how their teams can make better decisions, promote and implement good sustainable practice; and guided department heads in setting environmental performance targets which align with the business strategy.

Apart from the directly measurable changes, the most significant impact has been the embedding of sustainable thinking into the ethos of this fast paced, rapidly growing company.


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