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 and industrial buildings currently make up 36 per cent of the capital’s carbon footprint.  

The programme provides free support 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.

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.  

Achieving energy savings can come at a low cost to businesses. More than half of the participants in the 2021 Business Climate Challenge pilot were able to 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.

The 2022-23 Challenge scale up

The Mayor has announced that the Business Climate Challenge will now support a further 250 businesses to decarbonise their buildings. Meeting their efficiency targets will result in total energy cost reduction of up to 2 million pounds, savings that are 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.
  • Medium-sized offices are priority target, but participation is open to other businesses.
  • Participation requires buy-in from key stakeholders (building manager and landlord).

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.
  • 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.).

3. Recognise businesses who meet/exceed targets

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

The programme will be run in partnership with nine business engagement partners, organisations with a business membership, who will support business recruitment and engagement. Participants will access local knowledge sharing networks and promotional opportunities through them.  Businesses interested in participating can apply to the BCC through engagement partners. Find if your business membership organisation is a BCC partner and learn more about how to apply here.

Benefits for businesses

What are the BCC benefits for my business?

  • Reduce energy bills – operating your workplace more efficiently and installing cleaner technologies will allow your businesses to achieve significant energy cost savings.
  • Future proof your business – addressing your workplaces’ emissions will allow you 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. You will be recognised as a leading London business and climate action pioneer.
  • 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 your workplace – if you are a landlord, improving the energy performance of your workplace will allow you to have a competitive advantage in the market and anticipate potential future changes in regulation. If you are a tenant, becoming more energy efficient will create a healthier and more comfortable atmosphere for your staff and visitors.
  • Access a network of likeminded businesses – collaborate with 250 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 will 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 will recruit a cohort of 20 to 50+ businesses from their membership and create local knowledge-sharing networks on estate decarbonisation.

You can find more information about business engagement partners here.

Get involved

Participating in the BCC will allow your organisation to be a climate champion and achieve meaningful cost savings. Pilot participants have reported that the programme was useful to focus their companies’ sustainability efforts on estate energy efficiency and get senior level buy-in for the implementation of actions.

“Joining the BCC was a no brainer for us. Having experts supporting us to identify opportunities to achieve energy and cost savings has been incredibly helpful.”

– Julie Tucker, BE Offices

How do I get involved?

Applying to the BCC is easy. Follow these steps to get involved:

  1. Check the map below and go to our business engagement partners’ section to see which business membership organisations are recruiting businesses for the BCC.
  2. Find if your business is part of their membership.
  3. If your business is part of any partners’ membership, go to their website or contact their representatives to apply. Each partner manages business recruitment directly with their members.
  4. If your business is not part of any partners’ membership, you can begin your decarbonisation journey by signing up to the Mayor’s call to action. BCC learning materials and resources will be made available to a wider London business audience so make sure you check our webpage for updates.

Screenshot of interactive map of London's business improvement districts.

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