The Surpluss Becomes First UN-backed Race-to-Zero Accelerator in the GCC
Online sustainability exchange, The Surpluss, has been officially designated as an Accelerator by the UN-backed Race to Zero, a global campaign that catalyses climate action for non-state actors to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030.
It is the first UAE-based Accelerator, and one of only 29 global organizations around the world designated with this distinction. They are strengthening their commitment to promote the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, to ensure global warming does not exceed 1.5ºC.
The Surpluss aims to assist 500 companies in the UAE within the next year to take transformative climate action to halve their emissions by 2030, and subsequently, reach net zero emissions by 2050. Companies enrolled with The Surpluss can anticipate actions based on the Race to Zeros ‘5Ps’:
Pledge at the head of organizational level to reach net zero by 2050 and contribute to halving emissions by 2030;
Plan, ensuring a public transition plan that includes key indicators by 2030;
Proceed, which involves taking measures to achieve a net zero balance in line with industry breakthroughs;
Publish relevant progress on objectives and actions, feeding into the UNFCCC Global Climate Action portal; and
Persuade, which entails aligning policy and engagement to halving emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050.
Rana Hajirasouli, Founder of The Surpluss, plans to prioritize SMEs in the UAE initially, and onboard them in small, sector-relevant batches so they can learn and have a community to lean on. She added, “Community is incredibly important, and many derive value in focused, smaller working groups that are also new to understanding the link between their emissions and how it can benefit them financially by reducing them.”
The Surpluss will begin with businesses in fashion/textiles, food, and then with manufacturers with overheads like warehouses, stock, vehicles, etc. The team are working with a team of the High Level Champions to support both UAE and international visions of Net Zero.
“Race to Zero is thrilled to welcome The Surpluss as our latest Accelerator,” adds Tessa Ferry, Race to Zero lead at the Climate Champions Team. “Accelerators help drive us faster on the race by mobilizing non state actors around the world to take ambitious climate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and provide critical support as they deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world by 2050.”
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) rolled out the UAE Climate-Responsible Companies Pledge in August 2022 to increase the engagement of the private sector in the country’s decarbonization drive in line with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.
The pledge forms a nucleus of collaboration among the private sector, NGOs, and international organizations, including Emirates Nature in association with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a strategic implementation partner to the pledge aiming to support private sector entities as they move towards implementing their net-zero plans
Hajirasouli added that while The Surpluss is not currently associated with the Ministry’s pledge, they would be “delighted to be able to support them expand outwards. I believe the pledges are currently from much larger, well-established companies, however, we could provide similar solutions to assist in their Scope 3 by engaging with their smaller suppliers.”
The Surpluss aims to accelerate the adoption of various Partner initiatives to suit the needs of SME organizations that are struggling with climate action, such as the SME Climate Hub.
Hajirasouli adds, “The challenges that SMEs face are inextricably linked to their survival. Despite making up more than 90 percent of the global economy, they are still often found short of resources that suit their requirements. We want to ensure that they are included, feel visible, and hope to demonstrate there is a real commercial case of building a climate-resilient business beyond just pledges.”
The Surpluss will join a global coalition of leading net-zero initiatives that act as a springboard to create a more inclusive, resilient economies. They are committing to help businesses outside of their own membership base and will organize a series of monthly onboarding events to assist companies to initiate their commitments.