Yorkshire-based AES Engineering Group has made a commitment to carry out £29 million of planet-friendly investment by 2029 in order to go beyond net zero for its global business.
Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. “Net zero” is reached when the amount added is no more than the amount taken away.
A spokesman said: “The company’s ‘£29 million by 2029’ pledge, in the run-up to the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow on 1 November, underscores the growing recognition that businesses will have a potentially huge influence on the success of efforts to limit global warming.”
AES Engineering’s Managing Director, Chris Rea said: “By committing to take the global company beyond net zero globally and explaining how we are going to do it, we believe we will provide a road map for other companies and organisations who share our concern about ethical, balanced and sustainable development.”
This latest commitment builds on the company’s support for the Betterworld.Solutions campaign, which encourages global industry to adopt an investment policy to prevent global warming.
A spokesman said: “Last year, the largest part of the group, AESSEAL, based in Rotherham was one of the first major UK engineering businesses to reach net zero.”
AES Engineering predicts that, as a result of investments, and the company’s contribution to helping global industries save energy, water and reduce pollution, it is “almost certain” it will have reached beyond net zero for the global group as early as next year.
The spokesman added: “As a result of a unanimous board decision, it has decided not to stop there and has approved £29 million of investment up to April 2029 that is designed to set a new gold standard for business engagement in the battle against global warming.
“The company will lead by example and encourage sharing of best practice by demonstrating what is both practical and possible by outlining specific dates, targets, times, amounts and investment.”
The company plans to invest in solar panels, battery storage and other energy-saving measures, as well as considering a wide-range of other measures including tree planting.
Chris Rea, the managing director of AES Engineering, has appealed to other business leaders to share their own positive messages on how to tackle the climate crisis.
He said: “Please make your voice heard - speaking to staff, colleagues and when using social media or other communication channels. When the future of your children and grandchildren is at stake it is better to say, and do too much, than not enough.”
He said scaffolding was going up at AES to allow the installation of 2,200 solar panels.
He added: “Last week we ordered a 1.2 megawatt battery array for over £1 million.”
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