Committing to Net Zero by 2030

Climate change is one of the most pressing problems facing our world today. It affects everyone - from families worrying about their children’s futures, to where we invest. The science is clear: to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, business, government, and society need to work together to transition to a net zero economy sooner, rather than later.

Our pledge

In late 2019 we committed via the B-Corp Climate Collective to accelerate the reduction of our own greenhouse gas emissions to reach a 1.5 degree trajectory leading to Net Zero Carbon by the year 2030—20 years ahead of the 2050 targets set in the Paris Agreement.

Rather than running its own Net Zero Pledge, the B Corp Climate Collective is now collaborating with key partners. One of these is the SME Climate Hub initiative, an official partner of the UN’s Race To Zero campaign.

We’ve committed to the SME Climate Hub initiative, and have taken immediate action to:

  • Align with Race to Zero’s “Pledge, Plan, Proceed, Publish” criteria for net zero commitments.
  • Halve our absolute greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 (Scope 1 & 2, and business travel)
  • Achieve net zero emissions before 2030.
  • Disclose our progress on an annual basis.

We are listed as an official member of SME climate hub and UN’s Race to Zero campaign.

In addition to these formal expectations, EQ also set an additional target on other material operational Scope 3 emissions (50% reduction by 2030 from a 2021 baseline) and develop a net zero strategy for the investments made on behalf of our clients.

Our strategy

Relevant emissions under the commitment

Using the framework of the greenhouse gas protocol, EQ has assessed it’s material emissions. The protocol helps to break down all emissions that are under the direct control or influence of a business, and thus under its responsibility.

  • Scope 1 emissions refer to direct emissions from owned premises (e.g. a factory), so this is not relevant for EQ.
  • Scope 2 emissions refers to indirect emissions from the purchase of electricity and gas for heat. This is relevant for EQ.
  • Scope 3 refers to indirect emissions from downstream and upstream activities of our business. We have two quite distinct categories of Scope 3 emissions, which have different organisational boundaries and consolidation approaches:
    • Scope 3 (a) – upstream emissions from our company operations over which we have 100% operational influence, hence will call “operational Scope 3”:
      • Purchased goods and services (Category 1)
      • Business travel (Category
      • Employee commuting
    • Scope 3 (b) – downstream emissions from the investments we manage for our clients – consolidated using an equity share approach, covering a range of investment mandates.

As per the expectations of the SME climate hub, our commitment is mandatory only across Scope 1 and 2 emissions and business travel (part of Scope 3), but we also need to consider our approach to other material Scope 3 emissions, hence we include these in our pledge and plan.

Short and medium-term actions to meet our commitments

EQ’s investment team is working on a project that will result in recommendations on net-zero targets for our investments, engagements and respective reporting. We will follow best practice frameworks and methodologies from the investment industry which fall out of the SME climate hub commitment. [1]

AimShort term actions (this year)Medium term actions (next 2)
Scope 1 & 2 – absolute zero 2030Demonstrate reduction in absolute emissions through new heating/cooling system. Offset any remaining emissions using high-quality removal carbon credits.

Engage with building management on electricity provider. Include new Brighton office in next year’s data.
Develop a comprehensive understanding of the energy use within the office buildings, to implement an energy use reduction plan.
Scope 3 (operational) – 50% intensity reductionRe-prioritise engagement with most relevant long-term suppliers to encourage better transparency and science-based net-zero plans.

Engage with other B corps on common suppliers for better data disclosure.

Offset these emissions using high-quality removal carbon credits.
Establish engagement milestones for top ten suppliers and report back to suppliers on shortcomings vs expectations.

Integrate climate considerations in new contracting terms. Switch suppliers where possible to those with net zero commitments, transparent emissions data, lower footprints.
Scope 3 (investments) – achieve a linear increase in the percentage of underlying companies that have a verified science-based climate target, to reach 100% of all (in scope) investments by 2040.Publish the net-zero investment targets and associated implementation framework to all stakeholders. Establish target baseline for 2023, engagement strategy. Implement necessary data into portfolio management software and reporting.
Implement net-zero investment strategy across all assets, including dedicated engagement plan, integration into investment choice and annual reporting.

EQ’s approach to offsetting

The current net-zero commitment does not require EQ to offset all its emissions footprints until 2030. However, we have done this voluntarily, making EQ a carbon neutral business since 2020. We aim to adhere as much as possible to the Oxford Offsetting Principles, which include selecting carbon credits that are additional, and result in long-lived carbon reduction from the atmosphere and storage.

The voluntary carbon offsetting market is not highly regulated, resulting in a vast dispersion in the price per tonne, starting as low as 1 USD/tCO2. Pricing is factor of market forces, and voluntary demand for certain projects versus others – not a real reflection of the price of carbon.

EQ therefore commits to over-budget 2-3 times the price for offsetting its annual emissions via verified carbon offsets. The remaining budget after offsetting the full operational carbon footprint each year with high-quality offsets will be donated to charities supporting the systemic change needed for climate action.

Our commitment to update on progress

EQ commits to disclose updates on the short- and medium-term plan, annual carbon footprint measurement and details on any carbon offsetting initiatives.