Perseus Steering Group – 5th June 2023 — summary minutes


The meeting provided updates on the political support, membership and funding, progress of the first Advisory Group (AG) meeting, engagement successes and challenges, the plans for the year and long-term goals. The immediate focus is to develop a demonstrator for COP28 and to ‘go far together’ through industry collaboration.

Supporting slides for the meeting [PDF]. Programme website:

It was agreed that:

  1. the Steering Group members shall each consider making a financial contribution to the programme. 
  2. the Steering Group shall write to their members to inform, and seek support of, the programme (e.g. via direct letters, newsletters, and social media). 
  3. the Steering Group shall inform the Perseus team of their COP28 and related climate events and, where appropriate, coordinate accordingly on communications.
  4. the Perseus team shall provide collateral to assist the Steering Group.
  5. online documentation would be updated to reflect the development of the strategy, engagement plans, funding needs, pricing, and roadmap.
  6. the budget, funding allocations, and principles for funding will be published online. 
  7. formal communications and announcements about the programme shall be sent for and on behalf of all the Steering Group members. Interim updates and ongoing communications shall be managed by B4NZ and IB1. 

It was noted that: 

  1. support had been received from Rt Hon Graham Stuart MP, and this is helping improve engagement. The Cabinet Office is also exploring procurement options for program support, and the British Business Bank continues to provide support through indirect government funding.
  2. commitments have been made by six commercial partners so far, including representation from banks, carbon accounting firms and the energy sector. These will be announced in the near future. 
  3. the Steering Group would consider making direct financial contributions and one member committed to such contribution during the meeting. 
  4. the first AG meeting successfully outlined the challenges related to linking data to impact, user needs, data requirements, reporting frameworks, emissions factors, and decision-making needs. The findings will be published on the website following AG1 sign-off.
  5. the priority for 2023 is to continue building momentum while addressing short-term priorities. The focus will be on what must be done vs what should or could be done. 
  6. funding requirements for the initiative are projected as £2-3 million per year, with £1 million needed in 2023. Funds are to support the work of B4NZ and Icebreaker teams. The use of funds are for the two non-profit teams (B4NZ and Icebreaker One) to lead the organisation of the Steering and Advisory Groups, lead and deliver research to support the initiative, and to implement a demonstrator with members. In addition, substantial work is required on communications and engagement, including presence at COP28. It was further noted that committed funds to date are ~25% of the 2023 target, with a number of new members close to closing.
  7. all outputs, plans and meeting summaries will be published online by default.

Discussion included:

  1. known challenges such as the speed of working with enterprise organisations, engaging leaders in the ecosystem, balancing short-term priorities with long-term momentum, securing funding, coordinating diverse stakeholders, ensuring coordination while building momentum, addressing impact, data sharing and reporting challenges. 
  2. collaboration with other initiatives and coordinating priorities for COP28 across the Group.
  3. addressing pushback on the Net Zero agenda.
  4. addressing the commercial needs of ‘today’ vs credible scaling towards a trusted basis for assurable data


Principal: Heather Buchanan, Co-Founder, Bankers for Net Zero

Gavin Starks, CEO, Icebreaker One
Shanika Amarasekara, Chief Impact Officer, British Business Bank 

Steering group members: 

Alex Veitch, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, British Chambers of Commerce
Alexandra Hall-Chen, Institute of Directors
Alex McDougal, Sustainable Finance Executive, TheCity UK
Adam Jackson, Director of Policy, Innovate Finance
Catherine Westoby, Net Zero SMEs Lead, BEIS/DESNZ
Elliot Cyriax, Head of Strategy & Programmes, Bankers for Net Zero
Eleanor Crabb – Head of Engagement, Bankers for Net Zero
Jack Semple, Alliance Secretary, EAMA
Jon Geldart, Director General, Institute of Directors 
Jane Thostrup, Director of Net Zero Finance, We Mean Business Coalition
Jennifer Tankard, Commercial Finance Leader, UK Finance 
Laura Bailey, Senior Advisor, PRASEG
Louise Kjellerup Roper, Founding Partner, Volans
Michael Izza, CEO, ICAEW
Sarah Tennison, Head of Impact and Lead on Financing Net Zero, Innovate UK
Sara Tomley, SME Lead, Confederation of British Industry

Chris Gentle, Senior Advisor New Business Ventures, World Energy Council  
Charly Gordon, Global Policy Lead, International Chamber of Commerce
Dan Altman, Net Zero Business Engagement Lead, DESNZ
Glenn Collins, Head of Policy, Technical and Strategic Engagement, ACCA
Hugh Garnett, Senior Programme Manager, IIGCC
Jack Rowley, Policy Manager, The Lending Standards Board
Miriam Koreen, Senior Counsellor on SMEs, OECD
Marija Kuzmanovic, Economist / Policy Analyst, OECD
Mahesh Roy, Director, IIGCC
Rebecca Harding, Founder/Director, Rebecaanomics
Teresa Graham, Chair of the SME Advisory Group at UK Finance
Sarah Kemmitt, Lead Secretariat, UNEP FI
Vikas Aggarwal, Regional Head of Public Affairs, ACCA

IB1 team: 

Gea Mikic, Programme Director; Zoe Swiderski, Senior Project Manager; Caroline Fraser, Account Manager; Jakob Howard, Bid and Sales Coordinator


Charles Wood, Deputy Director Policy, Energy UK
Chris Cummings, CEO, The Investment Association
Ian O’Donnell, Net Zero Leader, Federation of Small Business
Jack Rowley, Policy Manager, Lending Standards Board
Liz Barclay, Small Business Commissioner, DESNZ
Martin Traynor, Small Business Crown Representative, Cabinet Office 
Irene Graham, ScaleUp Institute