A Buckinghamshire business has become the first IT company in Europe to have its net-zero targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

SBTi is a global partnership enabling businesses to set ambitious emission reduction targets in line with the latest climate science.

Softcat, which has its head offices in Marlow, is one of only 35 companies in the world to have their net-zero targets approved by SBTi.

In the UK, only six companies across all sectors have had their targets approved.

Following the approval, Softcat has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and then 90% by 2040, both targets from a 2021 base year.

COP26, the 2021 United Nations climate change conference, highlighted the importance of collaboration between global businesses to close the carbon emission gap.

SBTi is now focused on accelerating companies across the world to halve emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions before 2050.

Graeme Watt, chief executive officer at Softcat, which provides innovative end-to-end tech solutions, said: “We have been doing everything we can to achieve net-zero ten years ahead of the global target.

"The latest climate science is worrying, but it has shown it is still possible to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C, but we are dangerously close to that threshold.

“At Softcat we have made sustainability a core element of our business and are always looking to effect change not just do better.

"It is fantastic that we have had our targets approved officially now as this keeps us laser-focused and motivated to drive change not only in our own organisation, but also work with our partners, supply chain, and customers on their social responsibility journey through the technology we provide.

"To have our science-based targets approved is very meaningful but just the start.”

One of the ways Softcat is aiming to help other organisations in the UK tackle climate change is by developing Enexo, a unique and intuitive sustainability application.

The software allows any organisation in the UK to measure, manage and reduce its carbon emissions.

The cloud-based platform, which is free of charge to all Softcat customers that register before December 31, is due to launch publicly later this year.

It will draw on data from approximately 12 million points of record and Softcat's own experience in decarbonising its business.

This will enable organisations to benchmark their emissions against others and review historical data which will help Softcat reduce its own carbon footprint and that of its customers.