Facilities management company sets net-zero target

Facilities management firm Mitie has set a net-zero carbon target for 2025, claimed to be the most ambitious in its sector.

To meet the new target, announced today (20 February), Mitie has set our a three-pillar decarbonisation plan centred around power and transport; waste; and the energy efficiency of buildings. The majority (90 per cent) of Mitie's carbon footprint can be attributed to transport.

The power proportion of the overall plan, called Plan Zero, binds Mitie to source 100 per cent renewable electricity for operations through subsidy-free Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and to switch to low-carbon heating systems before offsetting any residual emissions from heat.

On transport, Mitie has pledged to reduce business travel “to a minimum” by investing in technologies that enable videoconferencing and teleconferencing and to develop procedures that ensure all remaining business trips are made using low-emission or zero-emission modes of transport. It has also pledged to switch 100 per cent of its fleet with pure electric vehicles (EVs), up from the current proportion of 20 per cent. Mitie claims that 90 per cent of its carbon footprint in 2018 could be attributed to transport.

The energy-efficient buildings proportion of Plan Zero states that Mitie will not choose any new offices unless they have been awarded BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification, or re-sign leases on offices with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) grade below ‘A’.

Mindful of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s finding that 45 per cent of global emissions can be attributed to linear models of consumption,the other pillar of Plan Zero binds Mitie to eradicating “all non-sustainable waste”. It includes measures to remove all single-use items from operations and to switch to cleaning products certified as natural, non-toxic and biodegradable.

Looking to the future, Mitie has said it will help its clients set and meet their own net-zero targets by launching a new package of bespoke services. The firm’s sustainability director Simon King said this move will ensure that Mitie shows climate leadership “not just within [its] own industry but across wider UK business too”.

“The climate emergency is a problem that we all need to take responsibility for - if we have any chance of solving it, then businesses need to take bold action now,” King said.

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