The sustainable energy company Ecotricity has become one of the world’s first companies to declare a ‘climate emergency’, setting itself the ambitious target of becoming a carbon-neutral business by 2025.
Declaring the emergency in a Facebook post, the company’s founder Dale Vince also set Ecotricity’s 2025 net zero target, which matches the deadline set by the protest group Extinction Rebellion (XR) for the British government.
Vince was one of several green business owners who wrote a joint letter to The Times last month to show support to XR during its London protests and call on businesses to take responsibility for climate change.
‘Today we are declaring a Climate Emergency, joining some 500 local government organisations around the world that have already done so,’ Vince wrote.
‘As far as I can tell no other business has yet done this, they need to – ‘business as usual’ is a major part of the problem.’
Ecotricity has a long-standing environment policy to become a ‘zero carbon company at [the] earliest opportunity’, in line with Article 4 of the Paris Agreement, Vince said.
In his post, Vince confirmed the company would now upgrade its previous commitment by setting a specific 2025 target.
Vince added that the company will look to achieve this goal by ‘blending’ the methodologies of the UN and the Committee on Climate Change.
This will mean measuring, reducing and offsetting carbon emissions in line with UN targets, but also ensuring that those offsets are achieved in Ecotricity’s home country of the UK, following the CCC’s recommendations.
Vince added: ‘We already have a focus on returning farm land back to nature, it’s a part of our approach (Energy, Transport, Food and making room for Nature), and we’ve a blueprint site for that in Gloucestershire where we’ve created new habitats and planted about 20k trees.
‘We also already measure our carbon footprint and we reduce each year as far as we can. So right now we’re working on the details – we’re looking at what it will take to offset our residual carbon footprint (which for the last year was 760 tonnes) with a UK based habitat creation scheme – taking a piece of land and giving it back to nature.’
Vince concluded by saying he was ‘confident’ the company can hit or even better the 2025 target date, and encouraged other businesses to set their own emissions reduction targets.
Ecotricity, which specialises in selling renewable electricity generated from its wind power portfolio, is one of the UK’s most prominent green businesses.
Vince is also owner of Forest Green Rovers, the Gloucestershire football team which currently plays in League Two, English football’s fourth tier.
Last year, Forest Green Rovers became the world’s first football club to be certified as carbon neutral under the UN Climate Change initiative Climate Neutral Now.