In a world facing increasing environmental challenges, it is crucial to foster innovation and collaboration to tackle climate change effectively. One groundbreaking initiative leading the way is the Bankers for Net Zero and Icebreaker One Perseus programme. This visionary endeavour aims to empower individuals, businesses, and policymakers to build a climate-resilient future.

In this blog post, Icebreaker One delves into what Perseus entails and why it matters to non-policy experts and small businesses like you.


What is the Perseus programme? 

Perseus is a collaborative effort involving experts from various sectors, including technology, finance, and policy. Its primary goal is to help unlock access to Net Zero capital for SMEs through  data-sharing of vital information related to energy usage and resilience. By connecting different data sources and stakeholders, it aims to enhance decision-making processes and enable timely actions to enable us to reach our Net Zero targets.

It has been included in the Government’s Green Finance Strategy as a way to unlock access to capital.

Why does it matter? 

As a non-policy expert or small business consumer, you might wonder why Perseus is relevant to you. Here are a few key reasons:

  1. Climate resilience for businesses: By leveraging advanced data analytics and risk assessment tools, the project helps businesses understand and mitigate the  risks of not reaching Net Zero. This enables companies to make informed decisions about their operations, supply chains, and investments, fostering long-term sustainability.
  2. SME empowerment: The programme’s data-sharing framework  will enable smart technology providers to provide you with valuable insights into the net zero data of products and services you use. And it keeps you in control: there is no central database being created and you can enable/disable data access in the same way as you may have already experienced with Open Banking.  The aim is to empower you to make choices aligned with your values, encouraging the adoption of sustainable and climate-friendly options with minimal time and effort.
  3. Efficient policymaking: Policymakers rely on accurate and up-to-date information to develop effective climate policies. Perseus will help equip them with the necessary tools and data to benchmark and design robust strategies that address Net Zero goals efficiently.
  4. Collaborative innovation: The programme brings together diverse stakeholders, encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing. By fostering innovation, it drives the development of new solutions and technologies to combat climate change.

Most specifically, Perseus is all about making it easier for businesses to access the money they need and report on their sustainability efforts. We want to simplify the process of measuring and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We are starting  by focusing on one important aspect: electricity usage. Once we have created a trusted process for electricity, we will build on lessons learned for other data (e.g. water, other fuels, transport).

That’s why we are collaborating with UK banks and energy companies to develop a common framework for sustainability reporting. Instead of creating new standards, we will align with existing ones to ensure consistency and simplicity. Our goal is to ‘do one thing well’ and have a practical solution ready by the time COP28 (Conference of the Parties) takes place in December 2023.

By helping to automate GHG reporting for every SME in the UK, we aim to unlock access to capital. This means that businesses will find it easier to secure funding and investments because they will have reliable data on their sustainability performance. This is crucial as more and more investors are looking for businesses that prioritise environmental responsibility, and to trust the information they are using to avoid greenwashing.

To make this happen, we are minimising the time commitment required from the Steering and Advisory Group participants. The focus is to contain the scope of the project and pass the majority of the work to the implementation team. This will ensure the programme progresses efficiently and effectively.

In summary, Perseus aims to streamline sustainability reporting for SMEs by automating GHG reporting, starting with electricity usage. By simplifying the process and aligning with existing standards, we hope to make it easier for businesses to access capital and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. The project is designed to be pragmatic, scalable, and low-friction, ultimately benefiting both businesses and the environment. Perseus does not replace existing initiatives, calculators and incentives: it aims to make them more efficient, accurate and make it easier for people to engage.

Perseus represents a significant step forward towards our shared Net Zero goals. By harnessing the power of data and collaboration, it seeks to build a Net Zero future for everyone. Whether you are a small business consumer seeking sustainable choices, a larger business striving for resilience, or a policymaker shaping climate policies, Perseus offers opportunities for positive change. Together, we can pave the way for a more sustainable and secure world. Join us