Insight 3 November 2021

Transformation post COP26 with Mitie Plan Zero consultancy’s Nicola Binks

How to mobilise finance, embed sustainability and maximise capital post Conference of Parties (COP)

What’s your name and role at Mitie?

Nicola Binks, I work on Mitie’s Plan Zero mission to deploy capital and financed solutions to accelerate decarbonisation for our customers.  

It’s day three of COP26 and the key issue is Finance “Mobilising public and private finance flows at scale for mitigation and adaptation”. What are the biggest challenges ahead of organisations, and how can they overcome them? 

We are experiencing a sustainability revolution which is changing the how we live, work and operate. Organisations need to make significant investments to transform the use of our world resources, to build resilience and reduce their impact on the climate.       

Embedding sustainability into corporate goals with clear delivery plans requires joining the dots across every part of the business, from property to engineering and operations. Collective action to shared problems can increase rollout and share the risk.   

Traditionally, organisations set annual capital budgets and deployed incrementally for core strategic or reactive projects. A clear roadmap to net zero (or a Plan Zero Pathway) helps organisations to maximise their investments as opportunities arise, alongside wider rollouts.  

Organisations often tackle the issue that single incremental investments do not make big enough impact on their own.  Aligning common outcomes with experts can make transformational implementation, bringing additional capital available to deploy to finance projects for both proven and new technologies and manage risks with outcome assurances. For customers of Plan Zero this means achieving their zero carbon, zero waste and biodiversity net-gain goals.  

What is Mitie doing to support its customers? 

We work with our customers at every stage of their journey to net zero to ensure we can help them achieve their desired carbon reduction outcomes. We invest alongside our customers committing to the carbon reductions outcomes.  

In the planning stages we demystify investment decisions using data, evaluating the technologies and roadmap options, designing the investment case to achieve the biggest benefits.  

We introduce flexibility into investment decisions and apply outcome-based performance to enable scale. We bring capital to invest alongside client capital to suit the type of net zero projects deployed. For example, with our partners we invest in large multi-technology schemes and we work with other funding partners who support our BoltON projects. 

Looking at your crystal ball what do you think the future looks like for organisations in terms of investments and capital? 

Just this morning Rishi Sunak announced that London will become the world’s first net zero finance centre. In his speech to delegates at COP26 he said, “Investors need to have as much clarity and confidence in the climate impact of their investment as they do in the traditional financial metrics of profit and loss”.  A central part of this announcement he said is the new requirement for all financial institution and listed companies to publish clear deliverable plans on how they will transition to net zero. While the details of these new requirements will be agreed by a task force, it is likely that simply stating a desired date for net zero will no longer be sufficient. Detailed plans, such as Plan Zero Pathways will demonstrate that each organisation has a deliverable strategy to achieve zero.  

The increased focus with mobilising private finance and the capital market mechanisms for new green bonds, it is likely to mean that there will be increased options to bring together investments from public and private sector to mobilise projects.  Such facilities are likely to trigger new structures and with significant focus on ‘scaleup’ the requirement will be on progressing programmes of projects.  

Finally. What three steps would you recommend organisations take following COP26?  

Be pioneering. Capital is available to invest in projects.  Alternative approaches can be explored to unblock constraints of selecting carbon reduction projects selecting those with short paybacks. By working with Mitie you can build the investment case for a wider rollout, achieving significant carbon reduction with a range of deployment methods.  Plan Zero Pathways will facilitate opportunistic decisions as they arise. 

Select trusted specialists. Successful decarbonisations require a number of specialists to work together. The right partners will be able to present the options you have, and they will make it simple. We are always technology agnostic, and we focus on finding the right solution for your business.  

Be transformational not transactional. By moving beyond classic transactional contracting to a partnering approach with Mitie we jointly commit to achieve your goals. In doing so we can bring flexible funding options to make net zero a reality. Third party verification will provide assurance of deliverables too. 

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

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