Bristol is home to approximately 20,000 businesses and organisations, of whom ~1000 are part of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership and many have taken steps to reduce emissions or to become more sustainable. Most are however hesitant to share the story of what they are doing, either because they think it is not enough, or they are concerned about greenwashing. Reducing emissions to Net Zero is difficult and the ambition of this initiative was to demonstrate what businesses are doing, and can do, even if they don't have the entire plan as to how they will get to Net Zero. The core message being plan for what you can achieve, deliver those changes that reduce emissions - and then plan your next steps. By telling these stories we hope to inspire more businesses to take the first, or next steps and to raise their ambition - to be net zero by 2030 support the city's ask and ambition.
This story is focused on Bristol legal firm Burges Salmon. It starts with the firm switching to renewable energy, installing energy saving measures and being in an office designed for environmental sustainability. The company has ISO 14001 environmental management accreditation, has a robust analysis of their emissions and is part of the carbon disclosure project. Admitting the challenges of scope #3 emissions, the firm has taken steps to reduce emissions and wastage from hospitality and for it's remain emissions including aviation is investing in Woodland Carbon Code accredited offset project which has a specific rewilding scheme in Scotland with conservation benefits.
They haven't got all of the answers, but are confident they will be net zero by 2026 in advance of the city's targets, they're looking to other initiatives in the legal sector, for example the Chancery Lane project – providing pro bono advice to embed climate friendly clauses into legal contract and are proud to be part of the Bristol Green Capital Partnerships Climate Leaders group, a self supporting peer network of businesses and organisations with the ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.
This project tells the story of what Bristol businesses are actually doing to reduce emissions. Due to last minute decision making and time constraints we started with businesses we knew through personal connections. A more robust piece of business outreach, engagement would have given us a wider range of stories to choose from that would better match the diversity of the city.