After setting greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in line with climate science, education resources supplier Findel has been accepted by the global Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).
The Hyde-headquartered business joins more than 3,000 businesses with a combined market capitalisation of $38tn across 70 countries in 15 industries taking part in the SBTi.
Other companies involved in the initiative include Coca Cola, Adidas, Marks & Spencer and Volkswagen Group.
It is believed that Findel is the first education supplies sector company in the UK to be accepted onto the SBTi. The business is also one of only 230 companies in the UK with an approved science-based target that will be monitored by the SBTi.
Findel’s origins as an educational resources supplier can be traced back to 1817. Today, its brands and websites offer more than 32,000 products to educators and parents based in the UK and overseas with the business exporting to 130 countries.
The SBTi considers targets ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
These goals are limiting global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.
Findel’s pathway to reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement has now been validated by the SBTi. The company’s near-term pledge to achieve 1.5°C is the most ambitious target available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) under SBTi.
Actions Findel is taking include specific commitments to improve its carbon footprint and making its products sustainable, or sustainably improved, with a focus on removing single use plastic. In addition, the company has set an overall objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.
Findel chief executive, Chris Mahady, commented: “Climate change is here, it’s now and it’s one of the greatest challenges of our time.
“We are committed to taking the lead and transforming the education supplies sector towards a more sustainable future.
“As a business working at the heart of education, we understand how what we do directly influences children. We therefore recognise our responsibility to take ownership and make the change required to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change.
“We will continue to work hard across all aspects of our environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments to transform our business operations to suit a future low-carbon economy. We will do this by doing not what is easy, but what is necessary.”
The SBTi helps companies set targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and then holds them to account throughout their journey through recording and reporting publicly on their results.
Launched in 2015, SBTi is a global collaboration between CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.
In March this year, Findel secured what is believed to be the UK education supplies sector’s first sustainability-linked loan facility from lender Santander UK. The company is using the £18m facility to support its medium-term growth plans whilst driving its ESG commitments.
Findel is backed by private equity firm Endless, which supported a management buy-out in April 2021.
In January this year, the company announced it had rebranded and introduced a new brand positioning line of ‘Growing education for generations’ which reflects the company’s heritage and future evolution.
Findel’s brands comprise Hope, GLS, Davies Sports and Philip Harris. In addition to Hyde, the company has a distribution centre and offices in Nottingham and employs around 300 people in total.