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Let’s take a look at the David Lloyd sustainability plan. There doesn’t seem to be anything about sustainability on their homepage, but if you go into the ‘About Us’ section and scroll down, you’ll find something on environment, social and governance (ESG). However when you click on it, there’s nothing about social governance, it is just about Net Zero. It would be beneficial for them to provide more information on their efforts in the social and governance areas.  But that notwithstanding, at least they’ve got something so it’s a step in the right direction.

So what are they planning to do?

It seems that their definition of “Net Zero” is to offset their carbon emissions rather than reducing them as much as possible and then offsetting any remaining emissions. While offsetting emissions can be a helpful way to mitigate the impact of carbon emissions, it is generally more effective to first reduce emissions as much as possible through efficiency measures and the use of low-carbon technologies. I would consider this definition of Net Zero to be insufficient, but appreciate that the company has made an effort to address their carbon emissions.

They have identified five key focus areas, but their efforts towards reducing water usage and increasing renewable energy generation are limited. As of yet, only one of the 130 facilities has made progress in these areas. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, the company could do more to address these issues.

Indirect emissions and their supply chain

It’s always encouraging to see companies taking steps towards sustainability, and it sounds like the David Lloyd sustainability plan includes some important focus areas. It’s worth noting that sustainability is a complex issue and addressing all aspects of it can be challenging. It’s also important to recognize that sustainability is an ongoing process, and it’s likely that the company will continue to make progress and improvements over time. It’s always a good idea to stay informed about the actions that a company is taking and to hold them accountable for their commitments.

Their report on indirect emissions across the supply chain lacks depth and detail, and their energy efficiency measures do not adequately address water usage and conservation, particularly in regards to their pool and wet areas such as saunas. As a member of their clubs, I frequently use the company’s facilities and I believe that these areas are a major contributor to energy consumption. There are opportunities for improving efficiency through the use of humidifiers, heat pumps, and heat reclamation, however these are not mentioned in the report. Instead, the focus is on LED lighting. Overall, the lack of detail in the report has led me to give them a score of two out of five for detail.

Having evaluated their efforts to reach Net Zero, I’ve found that their method for doing so is lacking in detail. Although there is an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report available, it does not adequately address the social and governance aspects and seems to be a general list of initiatives that could apply to any company, rather than specific actions the company is taking. The lack of “guts” in the plan and the lack of information about what the company is specifically doing to reach Net Zero leads me to score them two out of five on their method. In order to improve their score, there needs to be more substance and detail in the plan itself, outlining the specific steps the company is taking to achieve their goals.

How could their Net Zero plan be improved?

I have identified several areas where their Net Zero plan could be improved. These include a lack of information about rewilding, the carbon content of gym construction and refurbishment, and the leasing of equipment and catering facilities. I would score the plan as a three out of five due to these missing details. It would be beneficial for the company to address these issues and provide more information about their efforts in these areas in order to create a more comprehensive and effective plan.

It was noted that although there are positive impacts on the environment from having healthier people who visit the gym and require fewer medical services, this aspect was not explicitly addressed in the plan. The effort made by David Lloyd has been scored as three and a half out of five, and the transparency of the plan was scored as two out of five due to a lack of information. Overall, the company has been scored as 12 and a half out of 25, which is about halfway. There are some areas that could be improved, particularly in terms of the Scope 3 initiatives and transparency about targets and progress.

Overall, it could be better but I’ve seen a lot worse, so well done David Lloyd for what they’ve done so far.