About the Client

Churchill Group are an Employee Ownership Trust: a UK based facilities management company providing a range of services across the cleaning, security, catering, and environmental sectors.

Summary

Churchill Group committed to the SBTi (Science Based Target initiative) in 2021 by sending their letter of commitment. This gave them a 24-month window to develop and submit their targets for validation. 

As Acclaro Advisory calculated Churchill Group’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventory in 2022 we continued to support Churchill to develop and submit their emission reduction targets to the SBTi, including developing a net zero roadmap.

This call-to-action initiative strengthens Churchill’s commitment to managing climate related issues in support of its net zero strategy (net-zero business by 2040), a clear demonstration of responsible climate stewardship

Challenge

The SBTi changed their process in 2023 so that companies could truly demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Instead of just capturing the ‘intentions’ of a company to set targets, organisations have to develop and submit their targets within 2 years of committing.

Setting targets was challenging for Churchill as they are projecting significant growth in the coming years. The pragmatic approach agreed on was to find achievable targets to meet the SBTi Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign of minimizing the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C.

Approach

We gathered data from the GHG inventory we had already produced for direct emissions such as gas, electricity and fuel from vehicles. We then worked collaboratively with Churchill Group to review and complete the relevant sections in the 32 page ‘SBTi near term target submission’ document.

Working together, in a live environment on the submission was extremely helpful to ascertain gaps which could then be populated in a shared document.

With frequent communication and discussion on near term target setting we were able to ensure all Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions data was gathered to then develop targets and a roadmap of how they will be achieved. For example, we worked on a deep dive to help Churchill devise an Electric Vehicle (EV) fleet strategy.

Working with Churchill’s Head of Environment throughout the project, we organised and facilitated an upskilling workshop for the Board, to help them understand the business benefits of having a net zero pathway for investors, clients and colleagues, demonstrating the importance of delivering to Science Based Targets.

The senior team were very engaged in the workshop with lots of well thought through questions resulting in upskilling, moving sustainability to the forefront and commitment to setting and delivering SBTi targets.

Next Steps

The SBTi will start the validation process and will contact Churchill Group directly with any queries or questions.

Acclaro will support by clarifying any data if required and then the SBTi will approve Churchill’s targets and update the Companies Taking Action list.

Considerations
  1. SBTi not only demands target setting but also insists on robust pathways for emissions reduction, as well as evidence of progress within the timescales.
  2. Transparency & developing understanding of the business landscape is key for setting targets and roadmaps, for example, understanding future growth plans.
  3. Ensuring senior leadership understand the benefits of demonstrating sustainability makes gaining buy-in to implementing pathways smoother.
  4. Developing a solid partnership and good consultant / client relationship to ensure continuous and effective communication and collaboration is key. Being agile and adaptable helps cultivate trust and resilience for the client.
  5. Collaboration is easier when organisations use digital platforms for document sharing. This not only enhances efficiency but also reduces environmental impacts.
Results

Churchill now have a well developed & robust framework for realistic ongoing plans, for example, the EV strategy. 

Churchill submitted their targets within the 24 month window:

Churchill Group commits to reduce absolute scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50.4% by FY2032 from a FY2022 base year. 

Churchill Group commits that 67% of its suppliers by emissions covering purchased goods and services, capital goods and upstream transport & distribution, will have science-based targets by 2027. 

Churchill have announced on their website that they have submitted their targets and demonstrated how they are going to reach them for validation by the SBTi.

Working with Acclaro on our SBTi target setting and submission simplified the whole process for the team. In particular the collaborative approach followed was extremely valuable when managing such a complex project. I look forward to gaining target validation and continuing our journey towards net zero.

Hannah Dales, Head of Environment, Churchill Group.
The future

We continue to work with Churchill on their ongoing ESG programme which includes TCFD (Task Force on Climate Related Disclosure) scoping and Horizon Scanning as well as the annual SFMI audit and assessment.

And as part of the SBTi, Churchill will share their progression every year on reaching the targets they have set.

Watch this space for an update on Churchill’s targets validation due shortly.

Need a hand?

We can guide you through the process of setting a science-based target, from commitment to progress reporting.

Related Articles