Perseus – a multi-sector collaboration to automate GHG reporting

The challenge

There are more than 5.9 million Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, accounting for around half of the country’s business greenhouse gas emissions. However, there is no common process to follow when reporting emissions, and many reports are based on inaccurate estimates. SMEs’ stakeholders like banks and corporate customers are therefore receiving low-quality data that is not comparable or actionable. Moreover, emissions reporting is currently a burdensome process for SMEs that prevents them from focusing on their core business.

The solution

Perseus is developing whole-of-market solutions to enable automated, low-friction flow of primary data to enable trusted, assurable, comparable, and actionable emissions reporting. This will inform investment decisions, enable targeted decarbonisation interventions, reduce reporting burdens and unlock green finance. Bankers for Net Zero (B4NZ) and Icebreaker One are convening a cross-sector coalition to collaboratively shape the future of emissions reporting, ensuring that a wide range of stakeholder needs are met.

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Our Approach

Perseus calls upon you to embrace the challenge, to embody the spirit of collaboration, and to pioneer a net zero future where trust is not a luxury but a fundamental prerequisite for success. The time for Perseus is now, and the rewards for those who seize this opportunity are both timely and material.

Our mission is not to set a new standard or framework; it is to ignite a transformative shift in the way we interact, transact, and connect to deliver national-scale impact. We are embarking on a collective journey to redefine what’s possible, gathering the brightest minds, the boldest innovators, and the most visionary leaders where collective wisdom leads to breakthroughs and where collaboration supersedes competition. We are united in our unwavering commitment to delivering net zero and fostering a digital ecosystem built on trust.

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“The UK government is working with Bankers for Net Zero, the British Business Bank and a range of industry stakeholders, to automate SME sustainability reporting on a national scale…building on both Open Banking and Open Energy.” — UK Green Finance Strategy

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, the international community is joining as observers to maximise the opportunities for shared learning, collaboration and global scale in the Race to Zero.

The Steering Group oversees the programme, co-chaired by the British Business Bank and Icebreaker One. There are five industry Advisory Groups working on the specific design and details of implementation. The outputs of these groups are reported back to Steering for endorsement.

“IIGCC is delighted to join Perseus’ steering group. Access to assurable data is key for financial institutions on their journey to net zero and is vital in incentivising financial innovation”, Hugh Garnett, Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change.


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Concept note (illustrative only)

Enabling small and medium-sized businesses to share their energy data with two clicks, to drive engagement and unlock assurable data flow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Icebreaker One is leading a programme of work with B4NZ (B4NZ is the UK country chapter of the NZBA, which is part of UNEP FI and GFANZ). Codename: Perseus

We have two measure of success for 2023:

  1. Do one thing well: build a demonstrator that enables assurable data to flow automatically from the real economy (energy companies) to the financial economy (banks) with the permission of the customer (SME), and improve the quality and impact of outcomes for stakeholders.
  2. Go far together: build the process that enables prioritisation of actions that link disclosure to impact, address the technical and legal implementation challenges, agree on cohesive communications, and identify potential policy interventions.

Perseus will unlock access to capital through better access to assurable data

We are developing pragmatic whole-of-market solutions to create rapidly scalable, low-effort, low-friction sustainability reporting. This will help unlock access to capital by starting to automate GHG reporting for every SME in the country.

Start by doing one thing well (electricity usage for every SME to automate GHG reporting)

Starting with SMEs, UK banks and energy companies, we will create both a common framework (based on aligning around existing standards, not creating new ones) and implement it to deliver a solution by COP28 in Dec 2023.

This will begin the journey to automate GHG reporting for every SME in the UK.

Mobilising green investment: UK Green Finance Strategy 2023

The initiative will act to minimise the time commitment from all Steering and Advisory Group participants, with a strong focus on scope containment and the bulk of the work being carried out by the implementation team.

To recap, this is the start of the journey. Year 1 (2023) is about co-design and the creation of a demonstrator. Subsequent years (2024, 2025 and beyond) will both expand the scope of primary data flow (e.g. energy types, water, transport, etc.) and Scope 3 reporting, and develop the full go-to-market plans. The detailed design of future years’ priorities will, by definition, be done in collaboration with programme members.

If you would like to discuss please contact