Insight 3 November 2021

Prad Pandit on helping businesses meet net zero with Mitie’s Plan Zero Consultancy

Managing Director of Sustainability & Energy Prad Pandit introduces Mitie’s dedicated consultancy for sustainability Plan Zero

What’s your name and role at Mitie? 

I’m Prad Pandit, Managing Director Sustainability & Energy at Mitie.

What’s your role at Mitie, and how does this align with what you are doing for Plan Zero?

Plan Zero’s mission is to protect our planet for future generations. My goal is to ensure we work with as many organisations as possible to help them achieve their zero carbon, zero waste and biodiversity net-gain targets.

Why is net zero a vast issue, and why should customers be striving to resolve it?

The leading organisations in the world have started taking meaningful action to achieve their net zero, operational emission goals. At Mitie we are committed to be net zero across our operational emissions by 2025, and we publish our progress every year. We believe that organisations can lead the way by acting decisively on their own operational emissions and encouraging their suppliers to do the same. A 1.5 degree future is achievable, but it requires urgent and immediate action. If every organisation in the public, private and social sector acted to reduce their operational emissions it would have a tremendous impact. Through Plan Zero we share our expertise to help our customers take action.

You’ve recently soft-launched the Plan Zero microsite; what’s the backstory here?

It’s no coincidence we have chosen now to launch our updated site. Organisations want to reduce their carbon impact and need expert advice in the field of carbon reduction to help them in their journey. Plan Zero is a Mitie team of incredible people helping our customers to reduce their operational emissions, we’ve already eradicated 353,000 tonnes, and there is plenty more to be done. Through our Plan Zero consultancy, we will share our expertise and knowledge, helping organisations to reach net zero operational emissions. We also hope to inspire future leaders in climate action to join our team.

What is different about the Plan Zero consultancy?

Plan Zero applies our experience in reducing operational emissions delivering an end-to-end carbon reduction service. Plan Zero is a consultancy partner of choice for our customers because we plan it, do it and prove it.

We combine our data analysis, solution design and commercial expertise to help our customers set a deliverable and affordable path to reach net zero, called a Plan Zero Pathway. As we are technology agnostic our customers can always be confident that our designs optimised for their facilities and organisational needs.

We are part of the wider Mitie Group, the largest FM provider in the UK. With them we install and maintain the decarbonisation solutions, including SMART technology, renewable power generation and low carbon heating and cooling. Mitie’s recent acquisition of ROCK further enhances our capabilities in the area of EV and transport decarbonisation. We independently measure and verify our results via third parties, giving our customers confidence in the solutions we deliver.

What are the biggest challenges ahead of organisations regarding sustainability, and how can they overcome them?

In our experience, organisations are faced with three main roadblocks. Limited buy-in from senior management, financial barriers, and limited sustainability expertise. This can delay or even halt their progress

Buy-in. We’re using our commercial, technology and project management expertise to help our customers draft their business cases for investment in decarbonisation equipment and help secure senior buy-in.

Financial. We recognise that capital budget allocation and capital budgeting cycles can limit the scale of action on decarbonisation and be a barrier to acting now. We have launched two new initiatives to help organisations move immediately.

Plan Zero BoltONs require no upfront investment and have been designed to ensure that companies can accelerate their journey to net zero. Our partnership with Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL) will help customers to roll out large scale decarbonisation and energy efficiency projects. SDCL will seek to provide the capital to fund these projects, while Mitie designs and manages the projects from end to end and provides assurance for the business case.

Expertise Plan Zero combines Mitie’s detailed property knowledge with our extensive carbon and energy reduction capabilities. From our expertise in energy procurement to designing, installing and maintaining low carbon technologies to creating and implementing waste and biodiversity strategies, we help organisations shape and deliver every part of their operational carbon reduction strategy.

What role does technology have in this?

Technology is integral to the successful implementation of carbon reduction strategies and is embedded at every step.

We gather and analyse data using our carbon and energy management platform (CEMS), identifying the source of the emissions and tracking progress in reducing it is critical if an organisation is to make progress.

SMART and digital technologies, such as remote monitoring of the Building Environment Management Systems (BEMS) by our Technical Services Operational Centre (TSOC), mean that asset performance is optimised, ensuring the most efficient performance and consumption in facilities.

Replacing assets with modern technology solutions is also an important part of the process. Halogen lamps can be swapped for efficient LEDs; gas-powered heating systems are replaced with renewable options such as ground source heating and traditional ICE (diesel or petrol) vehicles replaced with electric cars.

Looking at your crystal ball, what’s coming – what’s the future of sustainability and why?

I can see many positive steps being taken across the UK, but we have to go further, faster. After COP26, many more organisations will be facing questions from their shareholders, customers and employees about what they are doing to tackle their climate impact. Pathways, BoltONs and our partnership with SDCL are some examples of how we help organisations unlock some of their roadblocks to make net zero happen. I believe there will be a wave of new leaders who will make the commercial case, communicate the benefits and collaborate across organisational boundaries to act on climate change. We want to be the partners to these leaders, as we decarbonise Britain.

Get in touch with me or the team if you have any questions about the new Plan Zero Consultancy.

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