Net Zero Case Study

Bellrock is a diverse business that provides a range of services into the property and facilities management industry, including managing client premises, maintenance and engineering, technical consultancy, project management, real estate management, and FM software. The company has grown significantly in the last 5 years through a number of acquisitions, with a workforce of 1500 employees working across the UK. Its plans for the next 5 years are equally ambitious, so its Management Board has prioritised future growth to be sustainable and to enhance the social value for the communities in which it operates.

Bellrock’s journey to carbon net zero began at the end of 2020 with the publication of its first ever Sustainability Strategy that set out a number of pledges, including its desire to achieve net zero by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris target. To achieve this the company’s Safety & Sustainability team, lead by Dr John Hamilton, developed a detailed glidepath to meeting this target. Built from 25 assumptions about what and when the company could reduce its carbon emissions, the glidepath maps out the companies vision in detail.

Bellrock’s baseline emissions for 2020, adjusted for COVID impact, are 1630t CO2e across scope 1 and 2, and partial scope 3 categories. Over 90% of these emissions related to vehicles, primarily from its commercial vehicle fleet, but also from company cars and private cars driven on company business. As such, to make meaningful reductions in its emissions it needs to make moves to electrify its own fleet, and encourage its employees to move in the direction.

The companies glidepath shows only small reductions in emissions in its first 3-4 years. This is primarily due to the limitations in EV technology in commercial vans particularly relating to range and payload. As such in preparation for improvements in technology as current van leases end, the company has undertaken extensive modelling of its current fleet to better understand all the variables that need to be considered in switching to EV. It has utilised daily journey data from its vehicle tracking systems to model which vehicles could be swapped as available vehicle ranges improve. Aligned to this is a detailed driver survey to understand a range of factors, such as where vehicles are parked at night, whether on a driveway, kerbside or car park, what payload they typically carry, or whether they are used for private mileage. Together with the daily mileage, these factors combine to influence the decision to switch to EV.

As the work on implementing the glidepath gathers pace, Bellrock also made the decision in 2020 to become a Carbon Neutral business, purchasing Gold Standard compensation offsets for 1650t CO2e. Alongside its extensive efforts in reducing emissions, this demonstrates Bellrock’s commitment to deal with the here and now of it’s impact on the environment as it starts its journey to being carbon net zero by 2040.