Reaching net zero is just the start!

  • Posted: 17 Sep 2021

We have joined B Corp’s Climate Collective and pledged to go net zero before the end of the decade – but our direct carbon emissions are already exceptionally low.

Thrive Renewables mission is to power the transition to a sustainable energy future. Our wind, solar and hydro projects have saved over 835,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the last 26 years, supporting the UK’s journey to net zero.

While it’s our business to help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, it’s vitally important that we lead by example and reduce our own emissions too. That is why we’re pleased to share we’ve signed up to ‘Net Zero 2030’ as part of B Corp’s Climate Collective.

We already have a number of significant measures in place to reduce our own environmental impact, which at 2.6 tonnes of carbon emissions for direct (scopes one and two) emissions in 2020, is low. The average UK citizen has a carbon footprint of 10.4 tCO2e per year[1]. Thrive’s office, one of the greenest in Bristol, is BREEAM certified and has solar panels located on the roof. We use renewable electricity tariffs to supply all of our operational clean energy projects, while our staff can also benefit from both a bike to work scheme and the Climate Perks initiative, which incentivises low carbon holiday travel.

Our Community Benefit Programme saves a further 60 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. The voluntary scheme, which has been running since 2015, provides grants to communities living close to our renewable energy projects so that they can make energy efficiency and sustainability improvements to shared buildings such as village halls or community centres. Administered by the Centre for Sustainable Energy, the 60 tonne annual savings from this outweighs Thrive’s direct emissions, which we estimate puts us in a carbon negative position for scopes 1 & 2.

We are now working to calculate our indirect emissions (scope 3) coming from the construction and operation of our renewable energy projects. Once this is calculated, we will be reviewing our overall figures again to ensure we are taking the reduction and offset measures required to be net zero. You can read our Net Zero statement in full here.

“As a business, we are deeply committed to tackling dangerous climate change and we’re proud that our wind, hydro and solar projects help the UK to positively reduce carbon emissions. Thrive’s direct CO2 emissions are low, but we know that we must now measure and reduce emissions from the construction and operation of our renewable energy projects. We see our net zero commitment as just the start – with an aim of achieving this well before 2030 and working to becoming carbon negative as soon as possible thereafter.” Matthew Clayton, Managing Director, Thrive Renewables

To reach net zero, countries must balance the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere with those taken out, with the UK pledging to achieve this by 2050 as part of the Paris Agreement. In April, Boris Johnson also enacted in law the world’s most ambitious climate target to date – reducing emissions by 78% by 2035.

Founded in 1994, we were one of the UK’s first purpose driven businesses, with a mission to power the transition to a sustainable energy future by helping people meaningfully connect with clean energy projects. We were also one of the first companies to fund ‘direct wire’ energy solutions for businesses – where they install solar or wind projects on site and benefit from the clean electricity generated, reducing their own carbon footprint.

Highlighting our commitment to the cause, Thrive certified as a B Corp in December 2020 with a score of 110.8, joining a community of businesses meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance. In July this year, we were also included on B Corp’s ‘Best for the World – Environment’, which saw us score in the top 5% of global B Corps in this category.

[1] UK's Carbon Footprint 1997 - 2018 (publishing.service.gov.uk), 2018, 703 million tCO2e p.a. divided by UK population of 67.9 million (2020) United Kingdom Population 2021 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs) (worldpopulationreview.com)