By 2023, they will have to set out detailed public plans for how they will move to a low-carbon future – in line with the UK’s 2050 net-zero target. Plans will be submitted to an expert panel to ensure they are not just spin. Firms and their shareholders will be left to decide how their businesses adapt to this transition, including how they intend to decarbonise the emissions they finance.
If you are covering the story, I thought you might be interested in a comment from Professor Kevin Haines, Director of Sustainable Capital PLC, a UK-based issuer which offers a flexible, quick-to-market solution for green and sustainable bonds. This commentary comes from Sustainable Capital’s new whitepaper, which looks at the need for support for businesses in the transition to net zero.
Professor Kevin Haines, Director of Sustainable Capital PLC:
“While big corporations can dedicate whole teams to meeting net zero targets and complying with regulations, smaller businesses don’t have the capacity to process this. The issue is that we have a web of regulations and goals at present that are challenging for businesses and investors to understand. If it is difficult for large companies to comply, it is virtually impossible for those with fewer staff and resources to do so.
There are 5.5 million small businesses in the UK, accounting for three-fifths of employment and around half of the turnover in the UK private sector. We need to drive down the cost of technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps; small businesses have a crucial part to play in doing so due to their ability to be highly innovative and agile. Their capacity for innovation will be critical in producing the renewable technologies required to meet net zero targets.
It is therefore vital that we place small businesses at the heart of the conversations around mobilising finance. Policies, frameworks and regulations that only consider how large corporations can reduce their footprint are not sufficient. Currently, there is a significant effort to resolve the question of how best to measure sustainability, but translating governmental policy goals into meaningful actions at a business level is far from straightforward.
COP26 is possibly the last real opportunity for governments around the world to respond constructively to these challenges we all face. It’s time to prove ourselves fit for purpose.”
Sustainable Capital (recognised on the NASDAQ Sustainable Bond Network) is a UK-based green bond issuance platform which offers a flexible, quick-to-market solution for green and sustainable businesses. Sustainable Capital PLC is a cost-efficient solution for high-impact projects which comply with international green bond standards.
Professor Kevin Haines, Director of Sustainable Capital PLC has a distinguished background in academia, having spent over 20 years leading departments at the University of Swansea and the University of Trinidad and Tobago. In his role at Sustainable Capital, he joins the dots between the world of finance and the world of academia, acting as an intermediary to create opportunities so that firms can create great returns for investors whilst doing great work for the planet.
Doctor Scott Levy, Founder of Sustainable Capital PLC has spent more than 25 years working in Financial Services around the world. Scott specialises in asset-backed securities, securitisation, debt capital markets, structuring, Islamic finance and asset management. Scott has founded several financial service companies including Bedford Row Capital, the debt capital market specialist which is consistently ranked in the top 100 by Bloomberg. Scott is a Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge and an advisor to the UK Islamic Finance Council (UKIFC), working on the alignment of Islamic Finance with Sustainable Development.
Sustainable Capital PLC’s Mandates
An ICMA-compliant Smart Agricultural Green Bond to finance the development and construction of five Smart Farm facilities in Monaco, Munich, Amsterdam, London and Toulouse. All locations are secured by off-take agreements and supported by the local government.
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