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Launched: New initiative will support SMEs to curb carbon emissions to increase competitiveness

NEW YORK CLIMATE WEEK: (21 September 2020) A coalition of major organisations has today announced the launch of a ground breaking one-stop-shop climate action platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to curb carbon emissions, build business resilience and gain a 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 United Nations Race to Zero campaign — will launch at the 2020-edition of New York Climate Week.

The SME Climate Hub is made possible by the We Mean Business coalition’s partnership with Amazon. Announced in June, a key part of the partnership is focused on mobilising supply chains, including SMEs, to take and scale-up measurable and direct action on climate change.

The SME Climate Hub will encourage small and medium-sized companies to commit to halving greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions before 2050. SMEs making this commitment — which will be globally recognized by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign — will be able to take advantage of accessible tools and resources to help them reduce emissions and build business resilience. The platform will couple these tailored resources with opportunities for businesses to unlock direct commercial incentives.

Despite making up approximately 90 percent of business worldwide and employing over two billion people, SMEs have been largely underserved by climate action initiatives to date. In establishing the SME Climate Hub, the co-hosts of the platform see an opportunity to enable emissions reductions at large scale — and, in doing so, build bottom-up resilience to climate risks in essential global supply chains.

Recognizing that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted small businesses throughout the world, the initiative will place a strategic emphasis on enabling SMEs to leverage climate action as a means of winning and retaining business, reducing costs, enhancing access to capital and increasing business preparedness to external shocks.

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. These companies have made a firm commitment to include climate-related targets and performance in their supplier purchasing criteria — and to work with the SMEs in their supply chain to deliver net-zero greenhouse emissions before 2050. They will also provide concrete tools, share knowledge and exchange best practices for implementing robust climate strategies through the SME Climate Hub.

“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,” said John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

“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,” said Nigel Topping, UK High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26.

“IKEA is committed to working closely together with our supply chain partners to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions from production by 80% by 2030. We are proud to be a 1.5°C Supply Chain Leader and to contribute to facilitating the climate journey for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We will not be able to limit climate change by working alone. Only by working together will we show that it is possible,” said Henrik Elm, Global Supply Manager, IKEA.

“Our vision is to mobilize millions of small and medium-sized enterprises to accelerate climate action. This is the start of a journey and we first make it possible for SMEs to commit to halve emissions before 2030. A first strategic resource is the 1.5°C Business Playbook, a guide that helps SMEs to develop a climate strategy anchored in the latest science and start taking action. Along the way, the goal is to provide tools and resources which both simplify and make it beneficial for SMEs to cut emissions and provide the next generation green solutions”, said Johan Falk, Co-Founder and Head of Exponential Roadmap Initiative.

“Mobilizing SMEs to take action is critical. It is fantastic to see the SME Climate Hub making it easy for small and medium-sized companies to take action. At the We Mean Business coalition we have seen large companies gain competitive advantage over their peers through taking climate action. SMEs with climate action plans will position themselves to become the most attractive suppliers to the hundreds of multinationals with decarbonization plans as well as to the growing number of investors now addressing climate related risk,” said María Mendiluce, CEO, the We Mean Business coalition.

“As a small business owner, I have seen first hand the benefits of putting a sustainable future at the heart of my business strategy, but I also know that even when we desperately want to do well, as a small business, it is not always easy to know where to start. That is why I am so excited about the SME Climate Hub – it allows small business owners like myself to make a climate commitment with the confidence that they will be supported with practical resources and incentives,” said Gonzalo Munoz, CEO TriCiclos, Chilean High Level Climate Action Champion for COP25.

About the SME Climate Hub:

The SME Climate Hub is an initiative founded by the International Chamber of Commerce, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, the We Mean Business coalition and the UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign, with the aim of supporting small and medium-sized businesses to build business resilience. The SME Climate Hub provides a one-stop-shop for SMEs to commit to climate action and access tools, incentives and other resources designed to make it easier than ever for small and medium-sized businesses to cut carbon emissions, bring innovative green solutions to market and build business resilience.

Normative.io, have been selected as technology partner for the SME Climate Hub based on their leading expertise with automated sustainability management software.

For more information about the SME Climate Hub, visit: www.smeclimatehub.org

About the SME Climate Commitment:

The SME Climate Hub provides any business with less than 500 employees with the opportunity to publicly demonstrate its commitment to climate action by signing the SME Climate Commitment. Making the commitment means that your business will start to take immediate climate action in order to:

  1. Halve greenhouse gas emissions before 2030
  2. Achieve net zero emissions before 2050
  3. Disclose progress on a yearly basis

SMEs that make the SME Climate Commitment will immediately be recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign. 

For more information about the SME Climate Commitment, visit: https://www.smeclimatehub.org/sme-climate-commitment

About the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC):

ICC is the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries with a mission to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere.

Through a unique mix of advocacy, solutions and standard setting, we promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation — in addition to providing market-leading dispute resolution services. Our members include many of the world’s leading companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce.

We act as the primary voice of the real economy in a range of intergovernmental organizations – from the United Nations to the World Trade Organization – championing the needs of local business in global decision making. Find out more at: iccwbo.org

About Exponential Roadmap Initiative:

The Exponential Roadmap Initiative brings together technology innovators, scientists, companies, and NGOs, with the mission to accelerate climate action exponentially through radical collaboration. The initiative has released the Exponential Roadmap, highlighting the 36 solutions that can scale exponentially to halve Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2030 worldwide, and the 1.5°C Business Playbook, a guideline for companies and organisations of all sizes to set a 1.5°C aligned strategy and move to action. Find out more at: exponentialroadmap.org.

About the UNFCCC Race to Zero Campaign:

The UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign is an international campaign that brings together an unprecedented coalition of real economy actors and 120 governments committed to achieve net zero carbon emission by no later than 2050. These real economy actors include: 1,128 companies, 452 cities, 22 regions, 549 universities, 45 of the biggest investors and 2,100 chambers of commerce – creating the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by no later than 2050: the “Climate Ambition Alliance.”

About the We Mean Business coalition:

We Mean Business is a global coalition of nonprofit organizations working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The coalition brings together seven organizations: BSR, CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Together we catalyze business action to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Find out more at: wemeanbusinesscoaltion.org.

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Anna Almberg, press contact, Exponential Roadmap Initiative, Email: [email protected], Tel: +46 (0)7 09 81 67 82

Dawn Chardonnal, press contact global, International Chamber of Commerce, Email: [email protected], Tel: +33 (0)1 49 53 29 07 or Andrew Wilson, press contact US, Email:[email protected], Tel: + 1 (716) 603 8363 

Matthew Phillips, press contact, United Nations Race to Zero campaign, Email: [email protected], Tel: +44 (0) 7834 699 991

Tara Burke, press contact, the We Mean Business Coalition, Email: [email protected], Tel: +44 (0) 7747 745675

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