Committed to becoming a carbon neutral business by 2030

Our target encompasses the Scope 1 and 2 emissions of: our tracked fleet (representing 90% of our target emissions) and the operation of our buildings through heating, cooling and electricity use (representing the remaining 10% of our target emissions).

This will see us reduce our organisational carbon emissions over the next decade across our buildings and vehicles (Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions) to a point where our operations cancel out as much CO2 from the atmosphere as they produce. Our net-zero carbon roadmap will be realised through a variety of sustainability measures. This includes increased adoption of renewable on-site generation and battery storage to power our UK and Ireland estate, and the transition of our fleet to electric vehicles (EVs).

Though this ambition puts into place a formalised framework for our sustainability objectives, reducing carbon emissions is nothing new to us as a business. Our Net-Zero 2030 goal is built on years of work to enhance operational sustainability and the range of low-carbon solutions we deliver to our customers. In 2021 we saw the first of our grid-scale battery storage sites enter commissioning stage, which represents a critical development of the national grid to increase the integration of renewables sources that will enable a low carbon energy system. As our grid-scale battery operations continue to grow, we are reviewing our approach to reducing battery related emissions in relation to our 2030 net zero target.

Read more about sustainability at SMS

Our net-positive environmental impact 

With our commitment to improving operational sustainability combined with the impact of our energy-saving services, we are already having a ‘net positive’ effect on our environment.

Being net positive means we cancel out more carbon emissions through our services (known as our ‘carbon handprint’) than we produce through our internal operations (our ‘carbon footprint’). In 2021, we mitigated more than 126,000 tonnes of carbon emissions (TCO2e) through the installation of smart meters for energy suppliers, as well as the net-zero strategy and energy efficiency services we carry out for industrial, commercial, and public sector clients. Our carbon handprint is more than 55 times larger than our carbon footprint, exemplifying the net-positive effect our services is having on the environment.

This achievement was recognised by the London Stock Exchange (LSE) through the ‘Green Economy Mark’, which is awarded to LSE-listed organisations that generate more than 50% of annual revenues through green services.

Beyond 2030 – becoming carbon negative

Going forward, SMS is firmly focussed on improving environmental performance as we target net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

To support this, alongside our board-level sustainability committee, we have developed and implemented an Integrated Quality, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Management System, which uses the ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 standards as a framework to document and improve operational practices. Our net-zero roadmap will also be carried out in line with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) Hierarchy.

Our long-term carbon reduction ambition, however, does not end at 2030. On reaching this net-zero goal at the end of the decade, we aim to become a carbon negative business. In other words, we’ll mitigate more carbon emissions from the atmosphere than we create through our operations. We aim to do this by reducing Scope 3 emissions, or the emissions of activities from assets not owned or controlled by our business, but that we indirectly impact through our work (such as the CO2 created by our supply chain).

“For more than two decades, SMS has played a pivotal role in the ongoing transformation of the UK’s energy system through our services, including the installation of smart meters and our longstanding energy and carbon reduction solutions. To further address the urgency of tackling climate change and the need to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius, we have committed to become a carbon neutral company by 2030.

Our long-term ambition, however, does not end there. On reaching this net-zero goal at the end of the decade, our aim is to thereafter become a carbon negative business by targeting Scope 3 carbon reductions across our entire value chain.”

Tim Mortlock Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SMS plc

Our net-zero strategy services

Alongside the delivery of the Government-mandated smart meter rollout – an essential energy infrastructure project for the UK decarbonisation programme –  SMS additionally provides strategic energy and carbon reduction consultancy services to large organisation within the private and public sector, enabling them to enhance long-term sustainability and reach net-zero carbon emissions within their own businesses. Read about our net-zero strategy service.

Download the full business guide to net zero carbon emissions

As part of these strategic energy services, SMS also finances and delivers distributed Carbon Reduction (CaRe) technology assets – including renewable generation, battery storage, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure – which will be critical for achieving the UK’s net-zero goal and making the energy system more flexible, sustainable, and resilient. In 2021, SMS additionally announced its entry into the grid-scale energy storage market and as of January 2022 a 50MW battery energy storage site in Cambridgeshire has been energised and construction has commenced on a further two sites. 

We are also currently a partner in numerous UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) net-zero demonstration projects, including the installation of kerbside EV charge points nationally and the creation of a self-sustainable, smart energy island in Orkney, Scotland.