Bankers for Net Zero and Icebreaker One have today (Tuesday 27 June) launched their Perseus programme at their flagship London Climate Action Week parliamentary reception.

As well as showcasing their launch video (which can be viewed on our homepage), Bankers for Net Zero and Icebreaker One announced the founding partners of their Perseus programme. The founding partners are as follows:

  • Sage
  • Smart DCC
  • NatWest
  • Allica
  • Tide
  • Connect Earth
  • Demand Logic
  • Normative
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Radiant AI
  • Enerlytic
  • Cogo


Working with SMEs, UK banks, audit and accountancy firms, ledger providers and energy companies, Perseus will deliver a solution to automate greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting for every SME in the UK with an operational demonstrator by COP28.

Firms that have joined Perseus recognise that precompetitive collaboration, not competition, is essential to tackling greenwashing and climate change. The programme is overseen by a Steering Group, co-chaired by the British Business Bank and Icebreaker One, as well as five industry Advisory Groups working on the specific design and details of implementation.

Perseus was included in the UK Government’s Green Finance Strategy as a crucial part of the decarbonisation architecture required to ensure the UK reaches its emissions reduction targets. A letter to CEOs from Rt. Hon. Graham Stuart MP, Minister of State at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, urged organisations to join the programme.

Heather Buchanan, Chief Executive and Co-founder of Bankers for Net Zero said:

We are thrilled to announce this coalition of industry partners who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to supporting SMEs in the transition to Net Zero. Seldom do governments, policymakers and the private sector align behind a common cause. However, through Perseus, this group has signalled that they all agree on the importance of high-quality, globally comparable sustainability information for the capital markets and for the SMEs in the supply chain.”


Gavin Starks, CEO and Founder of Icebreaker One, said:

Perseus marks a significant milestone in our commitment to tackling climate change. By uniting organisations to harness the power of data and technology, we are forging a path towards a credible sustainable future. Together, we can break the ice and pave the way for a resilient and net-zero economy. The time for theory is over.”


Elisa Moscolin, EVP Sustainability & Foundation at Sage, said:

“Sage is committed to playing our role in helping SMEs with the green transition. In addition to halving our own emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2040, we are supporting our customers on their journey with technology and advice, as well as advocating for policies that support the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy. SMBs in the UK account for 63% of the country’s business emissions so for the UK to meet its net zero goals, it is critical that they are supported and brought along the sustainability journey. This is why we are delighted to be partnering with Perseus and Bankers for Net Zero. We hope that by working together we can create carbon data flows that the market can compare and trust.”


About the Perseus Project

Perseus seeks to enable automated and trusted emissions reporting for the UK’s 5.9 million SMEs, accounting for £2.3trillion in turnover and 50% of the UK’s business emissions. Enabling insight into SME emissions will help to drive public and private net-zero investment, of which the Climate Change Committee estimates that £1.4tn is needed by 2050. Perseus will also boost SME productivity by automating the onerous task of measuring and reporting emissions and by unlocking financial incentives and financing for green investments. These not only help to decarbonise but also drive operational efficiency.


The Perseus Steering Group — to go far, we go together

We are delighted that UK Government, leading sector trade bodies, and non-profits are coming together to drive national engagement. Further, international observers are joining to maximise the opportunities for shared learning, collaboration, and global scale in the Race to Zero.

The Perseus Steering Group, co-chaired by the British Business Bank and Icebreaker One, oversees the programme. There are five industry Advisory Groups providing expert industry input on the following areas: user needs and impact; data publishing; data licensing; communications and engagement; and policy The outputs of these groups are reported back to Steering for endorsement.


Steering Group Partners

  • Bankers for NetZero
  • British Business Bank
  • British Chambers of Commerce
  • Cabinet Office
  • Confederation of British Industry
  • Department for Energy and Net Zero
  • Energy UK
  • Federation of Small Business
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • Icebreaker One
  • Innovate Finance
  • Innovate UK UKRI
  • Institute of Directors
  • Scale Up Institute
  • Start Up Coalition
  • The City UK
  • UK Finance
  • Volans

Steering Group Observers

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • International Chamber of Commerce
  • Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change
  • OECD
  • We Mean Business Coalition
  • World Energy Council


Statements of support

Michael Izza, Chief Executive, ICAEW, said:

We are proud to support Bankers for NetZero and be part of the Perseus steering group for sustainable reporting. Their SME Disclosure Platform will enable millions of small businesses to share reliable data easily with their funders and supply chains, which will be a vital contribution in the successful transition to a decarbonised economy.”


Ian Sutherland, CFO, Head of Net Zero, Tide, said:

“We at Tide believe in the need for an industry standardised method of calculating carbon emissions, which would include how and what data is assessed. The standardisation will help to make the data more accurate and allow benchmarking to be developed. It will also bring carbon accounting practices in line with best practice financial and management accounting. This is why we’re excited about being a founding partner of Perseus. Tide as a business balanced our own books on net zero, by committing to the removal of 100% of our own emissions from 2022. Collaboration across sectors to support small businesses in their own journey to net zero is key, and only jointly can we make a lasting impact on preserving the planet.”