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Net-Zero Strategy

Discover how our net-zero strategy will make us a cleaner, greener business for everyone.

A message from Everyone Active’s Group Development Director, Ben Beevers.

Ben Beevers

We know the world is changing – and not necessarily for the better. That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive net-zero strategy to help us, as a company, become operationally net-zero carbon emitting by the end of 2030. We all have a responsibility to make the planet a better place to live for one another and businesses such as ours are no exception.

Leisure centres consume large amounts of energy and so are also significant carbon emitters. Therefore, we have an opportunity to put in place a strategy to tackle this and other issues to help make the company’s carbon emissions net-zero.

In order to achieve this, the net-zero strategy that we have formulated encompasses every facet of our business. This will begin with step one, making our central Support Hub operationally net-zero by the end of 2023, which will be achieved through several changes, including moving to an entirely renewable energy tariff.

This will be followed by step two, working to make our corporate operations net-zero by the end of 2030. The steps we will take in order to achieve this will include making all company owned and leased vehicles plug-in electric, installing an electric vehicle charging infrastructure at all our facilities, developing an offset strategy to deal with residual emissions and much more.

What is Everyone Active’s Net-Zero Strategy?

Everyone Active’s net-zero strategy comprises three main work streams. The company will start with more immediate changes before moving on to larger, more ambitious projects – both alone as a company and alongside our local authority partners, with the ultimate aim of the whole company, including the buildings in which we operate, eventually becoming net-zero.

Step 1: Making Our Head Office (Support Hub) Net-Zero by the end of 2023

We’ll begin by taking steps to make our head office – or Support Hub – operationally net-zero in terms of carbon emissions by the end of 2023. This is the only building throughout the 200+ sites we operate across the country we own ourselves and therefore it’s the place where we have the most control over what can be changed. With that in mind, Everyone Active has committed to implementing a number of changes by the end of 2023 to ensure this target can be met.

These changes include the following:

  • The removal of natural gas as a heating fuel
  • The optimisation of the support hub’s operations through “smart building technology”
  • The improvement of building fabric
  • The implementation of on site renewable energy
  • The procurement of 100% REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin) backed renewable electricity tariff
  • Reducing and offsetting material scope 3 emissions associated with the support hub’s operations.

Step 2: We will Make our Head Office (Support Hub) Operations Net-Zero by the end of 2025

Secondly, we will be working hard to alter how those who work at our support hub’s perceptions and incentivise them to embrace the concept of net-zero by the end of 2025. This is a slightly longer-term process than the first element of the net-zero strategy and so we have determined to have these changes in place by the end of 2025. Among the alterations we will make to our head office operations to make sure this is successful will include the following:

  • Changing all company-owned and leased vehicles to plug in electric by the end of 2026
  • Installing charging infrastructure, and changing company policies to encourage employees to decarbonise their commuting
  • Implementing a supplier engagement programme to improve data quality, along with supporting key suppliers to set and report targets
  • Upskilling and engaging with Support Hub users and Everyone Active colleagues
  • Developing a strong offset strategy to deal with residual emissions

Step 3: Ensuring Net-Zero Facilities and Buildings in the Long Term

Finally, we come to possibly the toughest challenge of all. A typical leisure centre produces approximately 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and to get this down to nothing is not an easy undertaking and certainly not one we can face on our own. That’s why we will be working hard with our Local Authority partners, as well as central Government to help us move forward and make this a reality. This, again, is a long-term project necessitating the building of new, more efficient centres, as well as the procurement of new, expensive, but ultimately more efficient plant and fitness equipment. Some of the steps we will be taking to ensure we are successful in this endeavour include the following:

  • Giving carbon literacy training to all Contract Managers
  • Engaging with Local Authorities to seek funding through the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS)
  • Deploying colleague engagement and an asset optimisation programme through ‘smart building technology’
  • Ensuring all buildings are powered by a 100% REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin) – backed energy tariff

What is Net-Zero?

We talk about going net-zero, but what does it actually mean? Lots of terms get bandied about within this subject, all of which sound fairly similar, such as carbon neutral, climate positive, carbon negative, net-zero emissions and net-zero carbon emissions. All are similar and all of them have a positive effect on the environment, but they are all ever so slightly different.

Net-Zero Carbon Emissions

Here at Everyone Active, when we talk about going ‘net-zero’ we mean we are taking steps to ensure that, after all the measures we will have introduced are taken into account, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by the company will be zero.

Carbon Neutral vs Net-Zero

These are probably the two most common terms in around this subject, but what’s the difference between the two? Well, they both refer to companies or individuals working to reduce and balance the amount of carbon emitted. Net-zero carbon emissions refers to the fact that there was no carbon dioxide emitted from the get-go. I.e. it was powered by renewable energy, either from commercial tariffs, in-house sources such as solar panels, or a combination of the two. Carbon neutral, meanwhile, refers to balancing out any excess carbon emissions there may have been with other strategies such as carbon capture, storage or planting trees.