Next meeting: 23 October 2023 3-5pm 

Summary of 18th Sept 2023 meeting 

A refresh on the mission and purpose of Perseus was presented, including re-summarising its priorities as: 

  1. Do one thing well. The scope of work from Advisory Group 1 (AG1) has been formally endorsed by the group, with over 40 participants in the sessions.  The short-term focus is also to develop a demonstrator for COP28.
  2. Go far together. Dozens of industry participants are now active across the AGs and now we are through the summer there is a regular cadence of meetings to align on scope, highlight and resolve questions, and move forward on implementation.

Updates were given on:

  • Progress on Scope 2 data access (electricity)
  • Continued positive political support & the evolving political landscape
  • progress across each of the Advisory Groups (AG)
  • demonstrator development and readiness for COP28
  • membership and funding status
  • engagement plans, timelines and outcomes
  • developing aligned messaging for key stakeholders. 

A video was shown from one of the commercial partners to illustrate, at an early development stage, how Perseus may integrate with their solutions, and what the SME user experience might be.  Equivalent videos from the perspective of different users of Perseus were solicited as this could form part of the COP28 demonstrator (see point 5 below).

It was agreed that:

  1. Steering Group members shall 
  2. contact their networks to inform and seek support for the programme to help get additional paying members on board (e.g. via social media, newsletters, and direct contact).
  3. inform the Perseus team of their (or their relevant group’s) COP28, and related climate events, including potential speaking or panel engagements at those events to maximise distribute coverage of Perseus as there will not be sufficient budget for a standalone presence
  4. the Perseus team shall 
  5. provide resources to develop collateral to further engage key stakeholders and support a consistent understanding of what Perseus offers
  1. 2023-Q4 develop a plan for 2024 and beyond, with key milestones and estimates for resource requirements
  2. Review the Terms of Reference for the Steering Group in this context, responding to requests for more transparency on costs and controls, and maximising the effectiveness of the group. and 
  3. proactively inform the Steering Group of any material changes and/or risks to the project outside of the cadence of the formal meetings 

It was noted that: 

  1. Following months of preparation and considerable work to engage with stakeholders, the formal launch of the Perseus project was only 2½ months ago, and with a clear and comprehensive structure in place, we are starting to see progress in a number of areas.
  2. The two key dependencies for the initial Scope 2 deliverable (UK Smart data users only via Smart DCC) are permission and technology:
    1. On permission: Perseus are working with the Retail Energy Code (Recco) aiming to get authorisation to access the half-hourly data, potentially as soon as November 2023
    2. On technology: Smart DCC do not currently have an API so the teams are collaborating on that development
  3. Post smart meter delivery, the current thinking is to tackle shared sites and the potential to disaggregate sublets. With sufficient SMEs electricity supplies connected via Perseus, there is potential to inform better assumptions and reduce the error bars on current spend-based estimates
  4. Additional communications are needed to make it clear that Perseus (continues) to not be a ‘carbon calculator’ or a ‘reporting standard’, but rather the data sharing infrastructure (aka ‘plumbing’) to bring consistency and assurance to both
  5. As the political environment continues to evolve, we are maintaining close ties with government and corporate decision-makers to ensure Perseus is top of their agenda.
  6. Across the ESG reporting space, some banks are backing away from publishing data due to quality, complexity and risk concerns, and in terms of their sophistication around climate risk and stress testing and reporting. It was further noted that Perseus can assist with this issue given its focus on assurable data flow. 
  7. Additional members have joined since the launch, mostly from the application solution space for carbon accounting, analysis and SME engagement tools. Perseus aims to have multiple videos of application providers showing how it works in their solutions.  
  8. Similar to Open Banking, Perseus should be almost invisible to, but trusted by, the customer. It will provide the ‘plumbing’ to make traceable connections between sources of data and reporting and will be available to all actors
  9. The User Needs & Impact AG1 has met three times, prioritised, validated and endorsed the use case and required approach. The communications and engagement AG (AG4) has met twice to develop communications plans and materials. The technical requirements AG (AG2), Legal and Licensing AG (AG3), and Policy AG (AG5) are meeting within the next few weeks. Now members are back from summer, AG meetings will be held monthly until the end of the year.
    All project updates are published online at  
  10. The ecosystem for carbon reporting has been mapped: starting from science translated into policies, regulations and disclosure requirements based on global, national and/or sector standards & frameworks: 

Discussion included:

  1. Identifying the potential risk of creating financial orphans: companies who don’t have access to, or cannot provide data, and be disadvantaged as they are problematic for banks and corporate clients who have committed to Net Zero and are required by regulation to report their emissions and ultimately progress against a transition plan
  2. A review of the current risk register and in particular Area 9 in relation to resourcing
  3. The importance of data assurance was noted. Confidence in data is so low that some executives are actively pulling back on it due to the risk to their business of releasing inaccurate reports. This emphasised the need to address the ‘data plumbing’ with an audit trail for the data, methods and models The assurability of data, processes and organisations should be emphasised in communications.



  • Heather Buchanan, Co-Founder, Bankers for Net Zero 


  • Gavin Starks, CEO, Icebreaker One
  • Julia Groves, Managing Director for Sustainability, British Business Bank 

Steering group members

  • Alexandra Hall-Chen, Institute of Directors
  • Charles Wood, Deputy Director Policy, Energy UK
  • Ian O’Donnell, Net Zero Leader, Federation of Small Business
  • Irene Graham, ScaleUp Institute
  • Jennifer Tankard, Commercial Finance Leader, UK Finance 
  • Richard Spencer, representing ICAEW
  • Charlie Mercer, Startup Coalition 


  • Hugh Garnett, Senior Programme Manager, IIGCC
  • Miriam Koreen, Senior Counsellor on SMEs, OECD
  • Marija Kuzmanovic, Economist / Policy Analyst, OECD
  • Neil Cohen, IFC

Supporting team

  • IB1: Gea Mikic, Programme Director; Caroline Fraser, Account Manager; Jakob Howard, Commercial Membership Manager
  • B4NZ: Elena Perez Celis, Francesca Oneill


  • Alex Veitch, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, British Chambers of Commerce
  • Adam Jackson, Director of Policy, Innovate Finance
  • Catherine Westoby, Net Zero SMEs Lead, BEIS/DESNZ
  • Jon Geldart, Director General, Institute of Directors 
  • Laura Bailey, Senior Advisor, PRASEG
  • Louise Kjellerup Roper, Founding Partner, Volans
  • Martin Traynor, Small Business Crown Representative, Cabinet Office 
  • 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
  • Jack Rowley, Policy Manager, The Lending Standards BoardMahesh Roy, Director, IIGCC
  • Rebecca Harding, Founder/Director, Rebecaanomics
  • Teresa Graham, Chair of the SME Advisory Group at UK Finance
  • Vikas Aggarwal, Regional Head of Public Affairs, ACCA
  • Alex McDougal, Sustainable Finance Executive, TheCity UK
  • Chris Cummings, CEO, The Investment Association
  • Liz Barclay, Small Business Commissioner, DESNZ
  • Jack Semple, Alliance Secretary, EAMA
  • Jane Thostrup, Director of Net Zero Finance, We Mean Business Coalition
  • Michael Izza, CEO, ICAEW
  • Sarah Kemmitt, Lead Secretariat, UNEP FI

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