A coalition of major organisations has announced the launch of a groundbreaking one-stop-shop climate action platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to curb carbon emissions, build business resilience, and gain competitive advantage.
The SME Climate Hub, co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, the We Mean Business coalition, and the UN Race to Zero campaign, was launched at the 2020-edition of New York Climate Week.
The SME Climate Hub is made possible by the We Mean Business coalition’s partnership with Amazon. Announced in June, a key part of the partnership is focused on mobilising supply chains, including SMEs, to take and scale-up measurable and direct action on climate change.
The SME Climate Hub will encourage small and medium-sized companies to commit to halving greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions before 2050.
SMEs making this commitment, which will be globally recognised by the UN Race to Zero campaign, will be able to take advantage of accessible tools and resources to help them reduce emissions and build business resilience. The platform will couple these tailored resources with opportunities for businesses to unlock direct commercial incentives.
“SME Climate Hub is a flagship initiative aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises reduce carbon emissions and increase their competitiveness through adopting innovative green solutions.
“SMEs commitment to this initiative will mainly contribute to curbing climate change and at the same time will benefit these companies by reducing costs, increasing their competitiveness, and developing their businesses,” said Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani, who is chairman of Qatar Chamber and ICC Qatar.
Despite making up approximately 90% of business worldwide and employing over 2bn people, SMEs have been largely underserved by climate action initiatives to date. In establishing the SME Climate Hub, the co-hosts of the platform see an opportunity to enable emissions reductions at large scale and, in doing so, build bottom-up resilience to climate risks in essential global supply chains.
Recognising that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have disrupted small businesses throughout the world, the initiative will place a strategic emphasis on enabling SMEs to leverage climate action as a means of winning and retaining business, reducing costs, enhancing access to capital and increasing business preparedness to external shocks.