We've been measuring and reducing our footprint for over a decade, but now we have a plan that will take us further.

In 2022, we began working with carbon consultants at ecollective, to help us understand how we can further reduce our footprint in order to reduce our carbon emissions.

What is Net-Zero?

Net-Zero means that we will report on our carbon emissions and will then make every effort to reduce these as much as possible. We will then invest in offsetting projects that pull carbon out of the air to reach a “net zero” balance on paper.

What is the difference between Net-Zero and carbon neutral?

Carbon neutral can be achieved by paying a fee to offset your carbon footprint. Net-Zero calls for internal reductions in our carbon footprint to be made and for the residual emissions to be then offset through specific carbon removal projects.

Business Design Centre will continue to remain a carbon neutral venue until it reaches net zero emissions. We’re going to reduce our emissions each year, in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative guidance, until we reach net zero. This is not an easy task, but it’s the only option – decarbonising our lives, homes and businesses is the only way to prevent global temperature rise and catastrophic damage to the planet.

When will the BDC reach Net-Zero?

We’ve set our target to reach Net-Zero by 2030, but we hope to get there sooner. We are committed to reducing our impact on the planet and working towards a sustainable future, so we’ve taken ownership of our carbon footprint and are on a mission to reduce it each year.

Calculating the carbon footprint of businesses is a complex and evolving science. Our aim is to start taking action to further reduce our footprint today, whilst simultaneously increasing the accuracy of our measurements year on year.

To find out about the approach taken by ecollective in calculating our carbon emissions, you can read more in the detailed framework

How are we going to get to Net-Zero?

We’re going to do this by becoming a zero Scope 1 & 2 emissions business and by working with our team, clients and suppliers to join us on our decarbonisation journey.

As a Grade 2 listed building it can be difficult to make changes to the fabric of our building however, we are currently working to make some key changes that will significantly reduce our scope 1 emissions. In 2023 we have newly replaced our kitchen with induction appliances on the first stage of removing our reliance on gas at the venue.

Let’s talk about the carbon footprint…

Where does it come from?

What does it mean?

Is that number meaningless to you? It means each year we have the same carbon footprint as:

Here at the venue our carbon footprint was 357,912kg (CO2e) at the end of  March 2023, which is a huge reduction from our 2018/19 figure of 1,338,059kg (CO2e). Our footprint is measured from April to March the following year.

We have calculated that the average carbon footprint per m2 per year (CO2e) is 20.7kg. Back in 2018/19 it was 77.3kg and the aim for next year is for it to be lower than it is today.

What does this footprint include?

The number includes our Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions.

Scope 1: Emissions caused by the fuel we use at BDC – this means the gas used in our heating system
Scope 2: Emissions caused by the electricity we use at BDC 
Scope 3: Emissions caused by all other activities, for example, the missions caused by our staff commuting, our website, our waste, etc.

Emissions Breakdown for BDC 2023

Since we switched our electricity supply in 2019, removing emissions contributing to our footprint from Scope 2. Our emissions are categorised under either Scope 1 or 3, and these are the areas that we are now focusing our efforts on reducing.

For a full breakdown of what is included, please take a look at our detailed methodology

What’s next for the BDC?

We will be publishing our annual results to share transparently with the world on how we are progressing on this journey.

Our team are already working on plans to make the further necessary changes to our building to reduce our Scope 1 emissions, which will we make available when these changes are able to take place.

We are also working on ways to engage with our clients and suppliers in how they can come along with us on this journey. This involves supporting events and offices with their own carbon emissions as well as working with suppliers who share our vision for a better future.

Why does this matter?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) told us that to avoid catastrophic damage to the planet, global warming must not exceed 1.5°C. We’re currently on track for a 3+°C increase in global warming. This will lead to irreversible damage to the planet. This is a global crisis that requires all of us to act immediately.

Measuring our carbon footprint and committing to reducing it until we reach net zero is the most significant action we can take to reduce our environmental impact and we want those who come to the Business Design Centre to be confident that they have made a more sustainable choice.

We will be continuing to work with ecollective in measuring and reducing our footprint each year, whilst ensuring that we are updated on best practices when it comes to carbon reporting and will evolve our strategy over time to reflect the latest advice. 

We will also work with all those who use the venue as well as professional bodies and the wider industry, as this is a journey that we all must take together in order to save the planet. If you would like to get in touch with us about our work, have feedback or a question, please email us at environmentalimpact@bdc.london.