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Launched today: Climate action tools for small and medium-sized businesses

The SME Climate Hub has joined forces with Oxford University to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with tools and resources to help them take climate action. Ahead of the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement signing, the freely available tools and resources are specially selected for SMEs to reduce carbon emissions, build business resilience and gain a competitive advantage, and help them achieve the Paris Agreement goals. 

As the world reflects on progress on climate action since the Paris Agreement signing, it is clear that action by small and medium-sized companies is an essential part of accelerating the transition to a net-zero emissions global economy.  

The SME Climate Hub is 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. The SME Climate Hub is made possible by the We Mean Business coalition’s partnership with Amazon. It aims to mobilise and support millions of SMEs to build business resilience by providing a one-stop shop for SMEs to make an internationally recognised climate commitment, access tools and resources and benefit from incentives 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.

Developed in collaboration with Oxford University’s Net Zero Climate Research and Engagement Team, the new practical tools and resources launched today on the SME Climate Hub will support small and medium-sized businesses to curb emissions and build business resilience. SMEs will now be able to take advantage of accessible tools and resources to help them achieve the SME Climate Commitment — halving emissions before 2030, achieving net zero emissions before 2050 and tracking progress annually. These tools and resources will allow SMEs to measure and manage emissions, increase resource efficiency and lower overheads, track and communicate progress and access climate action resources and services.

SMEs from 31 countries in all continents, including Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, USA, Canada, Philippines, India, Australia, France, Sweden, UK, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana and Mauritius, have already made the SME Climate Commitment and can now access practical tools and resources on the SME Climate Hub to help them start to take concrete action to future-proof their businesses. 

Several major multinational corporations, including Ericsson, IKEA, Telia, BT Group, Unilever and Nestlé, that have set targets to halve emissions before 2030 and reach net-zero emissions in their value chains, have also committed to support the SME Climate Hub through a “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 halve emissions before 2030 and 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. 

Ahead of the next round of climate negotiations (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021, small and medium-sized businesses from around the world are being encouraged to make the SME Climate Commitment to both show leadership on climate action and benefit directly from a more sustainable business strategy. 

“The SME Climate hub is enabling resource stretched SMEs to access the practical tools and information they need to remain in touch with the demands of their clients, communities and governments. The repository will help level the playing field for these vital businesses that want to take action but often struggle to know where to begin on the road to a sustainable future,” said John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

“All companies of all sizes should take action to halve the value chain emissions before 2030 – to be aligned with the latest science. To support rapid action, better tools and resources are required.  We are therefore happy to take the first step in launching an open platform for sharing of tools and resources for SMEs,” said Johan Falk, Co-Founder and Head of Exponential Roadmap Initiative. 

“To mitigate against the worst impacts of climate change, it is critical that we halve emissions by 2030. That means that SMEs need to make a commitment to tackle climate change and take action on that commitment as quickly as possible. The practical tools and resources aggregated by the SME Climate Hub will provide SMEs with the fastest and smartest routes to act on climate. It  makes them attractive suppliers to the hundreds of multinationals that need SMEs emission reductions as part of their bold climate action plans,” said María Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business coalition.

“Solutions only matter to the planet if they are implemented so the team at Oxford Net Zero is so thrilled to be working alongside the SME Climate Hub to build a toolkit that can be used by small and medium-sized businesses around the world. As an independent academic institution our mission is to inform leaders with the best available science-based resources for taking climate action and this project is just one of many we hope to offer the public as part of this mission,” said Kaya Axelsson, Net Zero Policy Engagement Fellow, University of Oxford.

“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.

“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. 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. The initiative has released the Exponential Roadmap, highlighting the 36 solutions with exponential scaling potential to halve greenhouse gas emissions before 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. Official partners of the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign and TED Countdown. Find out more at: www.exponentialroadmap.org

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.

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.” Find out more at: https://racetozero.unfccc.int/

About Oxford Net Zero:

Oxford Net Zero is funded by the University of Oxford through the Strategic Research Fund. Oxford Net Zero hosts research fellows from around the world to advance solutions for achieving net zero, drawing on Oxford’s expertise in climate science and policy, in clean energy, transport and food systems, and in greenhouse gas removal and storage to champion a research programme dedicated entirely to advancing and supporting net zero commitments. Find out more at: https://www.netzeroclimate.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

Kaya Axelsson, Net Zero Policy Engagement Fellow, University of Oxford, Email: [email protected]

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