Business Climate Challenge

About the BCC

Business Climate Challenge

The Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge (BCC) is an energy efficiency programme which supports businesses to reduce their energy consumption and to accelerate building decarbonisation efforts in London. Emissions from heating and powering London’s commercial  buildings comprise around 18 per cent of the capital’s carbon footprint.

The programme provides free support worth £6,000 to help make buildings more energy efficient, reduce energy costs and support businesses on their pathway to zero carbon.  The BCC has been developed with pro bono support from Bloomberg Associates, and builds on learnings from other global cities.   

					Recognise businesses who meet/exceed targets. Challenge businesses to use lower energy. Support businesses in taking energy efficiency action.

Energy Efficiency Resources for Businesses

The BCC is publishing a series of practical guides on energy efficiency, net-zero, and driving down energy bills for your workplace.

Energy Management Training

Join our open-access training session on managing energy use in your workplace/

Training will cover:

  • How energy is being used in your business, its cost and associated carbon emissions.
  • How to measure energy consumption and understand your business’s energy bills
  • How to log, monitor and track energy use
  • How to share your energy use with staff and other stakeholders
  • How to use energy data to reduce waste and improve efficiency

The 2021 Business Climate Challenge pilot

In 2021, the Mayor launched an ambitious new programme to support businesses in tackling the climate emergency.  

The programme worked with 19 businesses in the Better Bankside Business Improvement District (BID) who committed to reduce their building’s energy consumption by 10 per cent within a year. The businesses received tailored technical advice from Turner & Townsend helping them to decarbonise their buildings and reduce their energy consumption.  

Findings from the pilot indicate that BCC participants reduced their energy consumption on average by 16 per cent in the pilot year vs 2019.* Businesses would be spending more on energy bills on average, if they were consuming the same amount of energy as in 2019.

Achieving energy savings can come at a low cost to businesses. More than half of the participants in the 2021 Business Climate Challenge pilot could meet or exceed their 10 per cent target by implementing energy-efficiency measures at an average cost of £3,800.

					Reducing building energy consumption by 10% saves businesses an average of £8,300 and 213 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

*Based on data from 16 businesses. Changes in occupancy from 2019-2021/2022 and other external factors might have influenced energy consumption.

The 2022-23 Challenge scale up

The Mayor has announced that the Business Climate Challenge will now support more than 200 businesses to decarbonise their buildings and help them save on their energy bills,   crucial for businesses to address the energy crisis.

The Business Climate Challenge has three main pillars:

1. Challenge businesses to lower energy use

  • Businesses commit to a 10% reduction in building energy consumption within the first year.
  • Energy audits and net zero pathways provided to help businesses set 2024 targets (aspiration of 30% energy reduction – dependent on businesses’ capacity to achieve further reductions.
  • SMEs are priority target, but participation is open to other businesses.

2. Support businesses in taking action

  • Energy audits and follow up with technical support team to identify top measures and build a long-term road map to net zero.
  • Access to an energy management platform to visualize their energy consumption
  • Bespoke support on light touch actions, scoped in partnership with building management team.
  • Ongoing coaching to troubleshoot issues and track progress.
  • Cohort-wide trainings on relevant topics (engaging occupiers, EPC contracting, deep retrofits, etc.).
  • Peer learning opportunities with like-minded businesses.

3. Recognise businesses who meet/exceed targets

  • Businesses will be listed on London.gov.uk webpages.
  • Recognition Ceremony with the senior city leaders.
  • Social media recognition and campaigns.
  • Participation stamp and acknowledgement (e.g., “2022 Business Climate Challenge Workplace”).

The programme is run in partnership with nine business engagement partners, organisations

with a business membership, who support business recruitment and engagement. Participants access local knowledge sharing networks and promotional opportunities through them.

Benefits for businesses

What are the BCC benefits for businesses?

  • Reduce energy bills – operating workplaces more efficiently and installing cleaner technologies allows r businesses to achieve significant energy cost savings.
  • Future proof businesses – addressing  workplaces’ emissions allows businesses to attract and retain clients who are demanding more sustainable practices.
  • Support London’s efforts towards net zero and be recognised – participating in the BCC is a unique opportunity to align and accelerate the city’s efforts to reach the Mayor’s net zero 2030 target. Participants are recognised as  leading London businesses and climate action pioneers.
  • Attract talent and engage staff – staff want to work for environmentally conscious companies taking action to reduce their carbon footprint. Staff become more engaged and productive when they feel they are making an impact.
  • Improve the value and health of workplaces – for landlords, improving the energy performance of workplaces  allows them to have a competitive advantage in the market and anticipate potential future changes in regulation. For  tenants, becoming more energy efficient  creates a healthier and more comfortable atmosphere for  staff and visitors.
  • Access a network of likeminded businesses – collaboration with 200 businesses to address challenges and share best practice implementing energy retrofits and decarbonising estates.

Business engagement partners

The Business Climate Challenge is being run in partnership with nine business engagement partners. Business engagement partners are business membership organisations such as Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Climate Change Alliances. These organisations have a unique role and opportunity to support their members in addressing urgent climate and cost-of-living needs, and driving net zero efforts at the local level.

Partners manage recruitment, engagement, and communications with participants for the duration of the Challenge. The BCC will deliver cohort-wide activities with business engagement partners to maximise peer-to-peer learning opportunities for their membership, motivate action, and share learnings London-wide.

Each partner recruited a cohort of  businesses from their membership and will create local knowledge-sharing networks on estate decarbonisation.

You can find more information about business engagement partners here.

Applications to the Business Climate Challenge are closed now. More information and  resources on energy efficiency and workplace decarbonisation can be found here.

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