Register to comment and receive news in your inboxRegister or Log in

Sage’s Near-Term Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals Receive SBTi Validation

Sustainability & Society Team Expands, Aligning Reporting with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI 2016) Core Standard

Sage, the leader in accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), today confirmed that its near-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Sage is committed to a 50% reduction in Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2030 against a 2019 baseline, in line with the goals of the Paris agreement of 2015. 

As of the issuing of this press release, there were only 3200 companies globally with approved science-based targets. Fewer than 11% of those represented the software sector, making Sage an early responder in tech’s fight against climate change. Sage has also made a commitment to set and achieve long-term net-zero targets, which are currently under review by SBTi.

The SBTi is a collaboration between Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and one of the We Means Business Coalition commitments. It defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets.

The company is hoping to make progress against its target sets through four specific focus areas:

  • Sustainable supply chain: To manage emissions across its value chain, Sage is requesting its suppliers disclose accurate and verified primary emissions data allocated to Sage via CDP, and engaging with suppliers with the highest emissions to secure reduction commitments from them. Sage is also asking its suppliers without Science-Based Targets (SBTs) to set one.
  • Sustainable colleague behaviour: One of Sage’s goals is to empower its colleagues to be agents of change on its net-zero journey. The company is working on engagement plans to improve climate awareness amongst colleagues, such as launching a carbon literacy programme, to influence positive action.
  • Sustainable products: In addition to educating colleagues, Sage is planning campaigns to make customers aware about the environmental impacts of technology usage – for example, the benefits of choosing to host products and services within efficient cloud environments. The company is also working to provide information and tools so businesses can measure, monitor and reduce the carbon impact of their work, with Sage Earth being a first step in that direction.
  • Sustainable property: Lastly, Sage is looking to examine the impacts of its properties such as the energy and carbon performance of its workspaces, especially in a hybrid work environment. Currently, 45% of its global electricity consumption is sourced from renewable energy, a target the business plans to build upon.

Reporting accurately and transparently on progress against targets is another area of focus for Sage’s sustainability team. The company has aligned with the voluntary Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) 2016 Standards Core, which gives an overview of the information needed to understand the nature of the organisation, its material topics and related impacts, and how these are managed. In this same spirit of transparency, Sage will also be releasing a Climate Report in late 2023 that details its response to the challenge of reaching global net-zero, giving stakeholders information about specific actions in its climate response plan.

This momentum is powered by Sage’s well-rounded Sustainability & Society team that has grown substantially in the past eighteen months. Led by Executive Vice President Elisa Moscolin, who previously headed sustainability efforts at Vodafone and Santander, the team is comprised of climate scientists, reporting specialists, and supply chain experts, among other skillsets.

Elisa Moscolin said: “As a FTSE 100 corporation, we have an important role to play in driving sustainable business practices, but our ambition goes beyond our four walls: we are just as focused on empowering SMBs across the world to get to net-zero. With the right plans and people in place, I’m looking forward to making progress against our targets and sharing our successes and learnings to ignite sustainable change across our ecosystem.”

Luiz Amaral, Chief Executive Officer of the Science Based Targets initiative, said: “Today, the Sage Group joins the growing list of companies with science-based targets consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. “We now need more corporate actors to set ambitious targets like Sage Group.” 

To read more about Sage’s sustainability efforts, including its Sustainability & Society strategy, please visit: Sustainability and society | Commitment and plans | Sage UK

BEE OF THE WEEK