The Power of Partnerships: collaboration for net zero

Businesses working together could accelerate the net zero agenda.

While the speakers acknowledged the challenges that exist in collaboration – including aligning organisational goals, managing divergent trajectories, and competing in certain areas – they emphasised the importance of shared vision, values, and effective communication in overcoming those challenges.

The panel also identified opportunities for collaboration across sectors and supply chains, with examples included standardising reporting requirements, fostering data interoperability, and leveraging specialist skills through partnerships, to accelerate progress towards net zero goals.

Judith said: “We know that climate change is one of the biggest challenges that we face today, and we want to help our customers transition to a net zero economy, both by getting hold of the opportunities that will come from a transition to net zero, and by mitigating the risks of climate on their businesses and making sure that they're here and able to thrive into the future.

“We know from experience with our customers how complex this journey will be and it's only by collaborating, and through the power of partnerships, that we will be able to get there and help our businesses transition to net zero by 2050.”

Seamless integration

Maria Carvalho, head of Climate Economics and Data for NatWest Group, emphasised the importance of businesses working in tandem to create sustainable solutions accessible to customers. She pointed to the Sustainable Homes and Buildings Coalition as an example of successful collaboration, which evolved from policy advocacy to commercial partnerships to address customer needs seamlessly.

The coalition, between NatWest, British Gas, Worcester Bosch and Shelter, aims to improve UK buildings’ energy efficiency, and to address the key blockers to meeting net zero in the UK buildings environment. 

Maria said: “The challenge is how do you make it as easy as possible for a customer to actually invest in the transition by getting access to the solution, getting the advice that they need in one, seamless integration?

“it's amazing to see how partnerships can evolve through understanding and really understanding the problem from a customer's point of view. We need to address that to create that seamless integration.”


The speakers highlighted best practices, such as the standardisation of reporting requirements by UK supermarkets and the cross-compatibility of charging networks in the electric-vehicle charging space. These examples underscored the benefits of collaboration in streamlining processes and enhancing customer experience.

John Saffrett, Global Deputy CEO of Ayvens, discussed his company’s collaboration with Lombard to provide customers with electric-vehicle fleet solutions through Lombard Vehicle Solutions.*

John highlighted the complexities involved in transitioning fleets to electric vehicles and emphasised the role of partnerships in offering consulting, advice, and a range of offers to facilitate the transition.

“Taxation and legislation have been key drivers in the transition to electric vehicles and salary sacrifice schemes have become very popular as a way of encouraging employers to offer their employees a path to electrification, but in a very tax efficient and cost-efficient manner,” he said.

“We've recently launched the full digital platform through our partnership with Lombard. It's going to be a great solution for our clients going forward. And we're very excited about what it will bring.”

Collaborating for success

George Sandilands, VP, Carbon Accounting at Sage Earth, pointed to the company’s collaboration with NatWest on our Carbon Planner tool as a great example of organisations collaborating to build a workable solution.

He pointed to the need for partnerships when addressing measurement and action planning for carbon reduction, highlighting the complementary expertise of both organisations.

He said one of the challenges facing small businesses is that different businesses require different reporting frameworks. Supermarkets in the UK have collaborated to agree on one reporting standard, making it quicker and more efficient for supply chains to supply the information needed.

“For me data is the challenge and the answer,” he said. “UK supermarkets have recently come together to standardise their reporting requirements for suppliers and that's a great example of collaboration. What more can be done around the coalescing of data to make it as simple and easy as possible?”

The panel called for continued collaboration and the need for industry-wide cooperation, data standardisation, and leveraging specialist skills to drive sustainable outcomes. Collaboration, the speakers stressed, is essential for overcoming challenges and maximising opportunities in the journey towards a net zero economy.

*Security may be required. Product fees may apply. Finance is only available for business purposes.

Salary Sacrifice Scheme is provided by LeasePlan UK Limited (LeasePlan).

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