Small Business and Net Zero
In the wake of the recent COP26 summit, British businesses have been advised that they are to become Net-Zero by 2050. This is no mean feat, particularly for smaller businesses. There are many barriers for them to overcome especially when considering the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here we will provide a brief overview of where, as a business, you can begin the process of becoming Net-Zero.
What is climate change and why is it important that something is done?
Climate change describes a change in the average weather conditions, such as temperature and rainfall in a particular area over a long period of time. Global climate change refers to the average changes across the whole planet. It is raining more in an area that is usually dry. In recent years scientists have observed that the Earth’s average temperature has increased much more quickly than they would expect over the past 150 years with many of the warmest years on record happening within the last twenty years.
Human activities are the number one cause for the warming of the planet, and scientists predict that if things continue at their current rate Earth will be at least 1.5 degrees warmer by the year 2050. Although this does not seem like a significant figure, this minor change will have a significant impact on weather patterns, the general health of people, plants and animals. Including rises in pandemics, food shortages and extreme weather.
How does this affect business in the UK?
Further to a recent survey prepared by the British Business Bank, UK small businesses currently account for 50% of all greenhouse gases emitted by businesses. It is estimated that the UK is currently home to approximately 6 million small businesses who are now going to be directly affected by this latest government initiative because of the important role that they play in assisting in the reduction
Businesses have been warned by Mark Carney of the Bank of England “that failure to meet the governments Net Zero target and adapt to their response to the climate crisis will go bankrupt”
Although we are all aware of how important this issue is and want to make the required changes. Many small businesses have cited several reasons as to why they have not yet begun taking steps to becoming net zero. Cost, feasibility, and lack of information are some of the main reasons identified.
What Can Small Businesses Do?
Understanding your Current Carbon Footprint – It is important that as a small business you understand what your current carbon footprint looks like. You need a starting point. The government-backed website the carbon trust has a carbon calculator specifically designed for small and medium businesses that can assist you in establishing where you currently stand. Identify the areas of your business that currently have the highest emissions and work from there.
Set out a strategy to reduce your carbon emissions: Once you know where you stand, you can begin working towards reducing your emissions and those that cannot be reduced can be offset. Produce a detailed plan of where you will start, costs that are involved and a goal date. It is important to understand that this is not an overnight process, and in many cases will take time and further funding, but in the long run, will be of benefit to your business. Be realistic in your approach to this.
Educate your employees: Engage your employees in your changes. Encourage their input on the improvements being made. It is important that your employees understand why the reduction in emissions is important for the business and their longer-term employment.
Tell Everyone: If you are actively working to reduce your emissions, make sure that you shout it from the rooftops. Consumers are becoming more inclined to choose companies that are actively attempting to make viable changes to their business to help the environment. You can use this time to build your businesses reputation as a sustainable business, make it a part of your current brand.
Are you looking to actively reduce your carbon emissions as a small or medium-sized business but require extra funding to implement your ideas? Then look no further than our business finance experts at Funding Track, who are on hand to assist you in obtaining the funding you need to become Net-Zero. Contact us today for further information.
T. 020 3857 3030