Home > Business Support > West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge

West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge

The West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge was launched by Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, in March 2021 and now has over 100 pledged organisations including many SWM members such as National Express West Midlands and Mott MacDonald.

SWM manage the Pledge on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority, providing support to organisations and helping them raise the profile of their approach to Net Zero.

West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge logo

What is Net Zero?

For a business to reach Net Zero, it means that firstly their emissions are reduced as much as possible, and then any remaining emissions are offset. It is recommended that 90-95% of  carbon emissions are reduced before offsetting.

Why should I care about Net Zero?

Reaching a Net Zero economy is essential to reduce the impacts of climate change on society. It is critical that businesses play their part in our quest to reach Net Zero. Not only is there environmental pressure for businesses to reach Net Zero, but it is also increasingly important for business continuity. Pressure on business is building from different directions:

  • B2B supply chains: one pledged business was told that if they didn’t have a carbon reduction plan by the end of 2022, they would be removed from their customer’s supply chain.
  • Consumer demands: around 70% of consumers have taken action in their consumer decisions as result of their concern about the environment.
  • Policy requirements: Government procurement policy for contracts valued at £5 million per annum now required a Net Zero carbon reduction plan. 

On top of this, businesses are also under pressure from current and future employees to demonstrate a positive impact on the environment.

But these are tough times, so what are the benefits to my business?

  • It can save costs; one pledged business implemented a ‘switch off’ policy and saved £100,000 per annum.
  • You can position your business as a leader in the Net Zero Carbon economy; the Pledge provides a platform to showcase the progress your business is making towards Net Zero.
  • It can help prepare your business for climate change impacts.
  • It can help prepare your business for the implications of current and future legislation.

Okay, I am sold on the importance of Net Zero. But why should I sign up to the Pledge?

Net Zero is tricky to navigate, but by signing up to the Pledge you will have access to free support, tools, e-learning resources and a step-by-step guide to help you along the way.

This includes a business toolkit that has been tailored to businesses in the West Midlands (to be launched later in 2022). The toolkit features:

  • Key definitions​ which can be used to help communicate jargon and help you as a business make Net Zero inclusive to your operations. This will help to demystify Net Zero and the circular economy, which is essential if your business is going to be a leader in the next industrial revolution.
  • A step-by-step guide with both quick wins and long-term strategic actions that you can take to reduce carbon emissions and operational costs through energy efficiency, waste and transport​.
  • Free resources, a checklist to record any changes you make as evidence of your actions, questionnaires to help understand how close your business is to Net Zero, and e-learning resources to help you along the way​.
  • Links to additional external support organisations and networks in the West Midlands to provide further help within your area.

We are also running drop-in sessions, exclusively for organisations that have signed up to the Pledge to meet and discuss successes and challenges that they face with their Net Zero transition. This will provide a collaborative space to network, find solutions to your Net Zero issues, and learn from others in industry.

And don’t just take our word for it:

‘Every business and every employee can make a difference, big or small, the Net Zero Pledge reminds us of that. Our pledge has made us leaner, cleaner but also has reduced our costs.’

NRG Marine, based in Coventry

Great, so where can I sign up and find out more?

Make your West Midland Net Zero Business Pledge today by visiting the website or contact enquiries@swm.org.uk to find out more.