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GoCardless' commitment to science-based sustainability targets

By Ben KnightNov 20212 min read

Earlier this year, we became co-founders of the TechZero coalition – a #RaceToZero Partner -  where we committed to measuring our Greenhouse Gas Emissions (across scope 1, 3 and 3), and developing our Net-Zero target. 

Since this initial step, we have completed measuring our emissions for the calendar year 2020 and had these externally audited and verified. To find out more, please read our Climate Impact Report 2020. In summary:

Our Total Market-based emissions in 2020:

5,437.69 tCo2e

Top 5 Impact Areas: 

1. Financial Services: 24%

2. SaaS and related services: 13%

3. Homeworking (Gas & Electricity): 11%

4. Advertising Services: 10%

= 5. Real Estate Services: 7%

= 5. Corporate Travel: 7%

Taking measurements of our impact has highlighted areas of improvement, such as gathering unavailable data or improving the quality of our collected data to increase the accuracy of our measurements. However - as highlighted in our report - the measurements capture the majority of emissions sources within our business. Our calculations found that our scope 3 is by far our largest contributing area at 99.8% of all our emissions. 

To build upon our previous commitments, we are also delighted to announce that in September, ahead of Cop26, we became signatories of the Science Based Targets Business Ambition for  1.5°c. By becoming signatories we are responding to an urgent call-to-action for companies to set emissions reduction targets in line with a 1.5°C future, backed by a global network of UN agencies, business and industry leaders. This means that we will set verifiable science-based targets through the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which independently assesses corporate emissions reduction targets in line with what climate science says is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

We are aligning our strategy with the highest standard of corporate climate action, committing to set science-based emissions reduction targets across our entire value chain that are consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reaching Net-Zero in line with the SBTi Standard. 

During Q4 2021, we will be developing our action plan of how we do this and developing both our short and long-term science-based targets. We plan to publish these further commitments later this year. 

Most importantly, not only will we explore ways for us to reduce our own emissions, but we will also seek opportunities to help our employees, customers, and wider value chain in the transition to a low-carbon economy. 

"It is vital for businesses such as ours to take measurable climate action as part of a wider sustainability strategy - not only reduce our impact on the natural world but also to have a positive impact on our employees, customers and suppliers. To operate as a responsible business, it is crucial that we act in a sustainable way, allowing us to continue attracting the best talent, aligning with customer sentiment and new markets, and ensuring that we can transition to - and be part of - the low-carbon economy of the future."

Catherine Birkett, Chief Financial Officer at GoCardless

During the first week at COP26, GoCardless will be taking part in a variety of events and discussions. Our CFO Catherine Birkett will be joining a roundtable discussion (The Innovators: SMEs, Corporates and Net Zero) at the British Chambers of Commerce Trade and Finance Day, whilst I will be taking part in Innovation and Adaptation Day (Collaboration for net-zero: a vision for working together towards net-zero goals across society) at 2pm on day four.

You can find out more about our climate action and wider sustainability strategy by contacting GoCardless and requesting Ben Knight.

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