Green Tech Matters – “How to meaningfully engage SMEs in achieving net zero emissions”

Green Tech South West welcomed George Sandilands (CEO and Co-Founder) at Spherics, to talk about how they help small to medium businesses measure, mitigate and manage their environmental impact.

George joined us on Tuesday, June 15th at 12.30pm and we caught up with him ahead of his talk.

Mike @ ADLIB: How did you come up with the idea of Spherics?

George: I was searching for available tools to reduce the impact in my previous business, a creative agency also based in Bristol, working closely with an ex-colleague, now business partner Mike Chatziopostolou. We looked at the market and there were very few useful solutions for SMEs available. Consultants were very expensive, and the carbon calculators on the market were either not science-based (ignoring scope 3 emissions) or very detailed surveys, which often broke when certain information was unavailable, so we explored creating our own tool. This started as a spreadsheet and became more sophisticated over time. I then explored the wider market opportunity and recognised that there was both an urgent need, and a significant opportunity. Mike and I left the previous business that I had started and teamed up with a talented developed friend Ciaran, and Spherics was born.

Mike @ ADLIB: How big a problem are SMEs in their impact on the environment?

George: SMEs are the largest group responsible for industrial emissions, with estimates (by the EU) at 64% of all attributed emissions. Moreover, these companies are diverse, unique, and lack the time and resources to change their behaviours quickly. Most of their output is determined by larger organisations down the value chain, so whatever SMEs do, they are, to a certain extent, led by the demands of larger organisations in both the private and public sector. In order to achieve net-zero value-chains, they need to work together, which is going to create significant challenges in the coming years.

Mike @ ADLIB: How does the Spherics tool work?

George: We connect with cloud accounting and other software to automate an estimate of the carbon emissions that an organisation is responsible for. From there, we ask for surplus information to build a robust carbon accounting model, and from there we offer a toolkit and suggestions of how to improve/reduce impact.

Mike @ ADLIB: Can you tell us about some success stories you’ve had so far?

George: We’re humbled to have won the Tech Nation Rising Stars “Net-Zero” award, recognising the best in UK early-stage climate-tech. We won £215k Innovate UK funding, have completed a private equity investment round and are now preparing for scaling, with a number of exciting partnerships and opportunities soon to be announced. We’re also soon launching our new website which is a much better representation of where we are, and where we are going.

Mike @ ADLIB: What’s next for Spherics?

George: Consistently improving our product, that is no1. We’ve got an ambitious roadmap of development, which we want to achieve in a short space of time, given the crisis at hand. We’re going to be formally launching our product in the run-up to COP 26 and we’re raising further funding to grow from our current team of 10 to an estimated 25 by the end of the year.

Thank You George for the chat.

About GreenTech South West:
We’re here to provide you with expert insight and thought-provoking discussions on how technology can improve our physical environment and battle the massive, urgent issue of climate change. We are a community/people-focused group with an open and inclusive ethos. We run regular meetups, both physical and virtual, with a range of lightning presentations, round-room debates and panel discussions from those working or researching green technology. Sponsored by ADLIB and supported by Future Economy Network and Climate Action Tech.

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Head Of Tech (Permanent)

CTO/Leads, Developers, GreenTech

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Mike Harley