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Grow your business, and shrink your carbon footprint.

The Climate Change Act commits the UK government by law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100% of 1990 levels (net zero) by 2050.

Smaller businesses are a major source of emissions in the UK with research finding that smaller businesses account for 50% of all UK business-driven emissions.

Whilst 57% of smaller businesses reported they were aware of the government’s 2050 net zero targets, the same research found that 76% of smaller businesses have yet to implement a decarbonisation strategy.

Costs, lack of appropriate technology, infrastructure, or vehicles, and an inability to find information on net zero were cited by smaller businesses as some of the barriers to preventing action.

No matter how small your business or what industry you’re in, your actions can make a real difference. The UK’s 5.5 million small businesses and self-employed are critical to reaching the UK Government’s 2050 net zero target and paving the way to a greener future. Reducing your carbon emissions won’t happen overnight, and the roadmap will look different for every business depending on where you are in your journey.

Net zero | Green business

How net zero can help your business?

As a small business, you may begin to notice that your customers or suppliers could ask you for your carbon footprint data, and your carbon reduction plans. There will be a genuine reason behind this request, and therefore there is a competitive advantage to having this data and plan in hand.

As larger businesses begin to make corporate pledges to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, it is an inevitability that if you are in such a corporate supply chain you will be asked to report on your greenhouse gas emissions at some point in the future. Small businesses can start to leverage the benefits of calculating a carbon footprint year on year to access supply chains where this information is required. For some, this may even be a prerequisite for supplier onboarding.

  • Aside from helping improve the world’s environment, adopting net zero strategies may help your business grow, save money, and boost business resilience.
  • Studies by Deloitte have shown that 55% of consumers have chosen food and non-alcoholic beverage brands that have environmentally sustainable values and practices, for example.
  • The same report found that 32% of consumers would be prepared to pay more for goods and services if it ensured brands reduced their carbon footprint.
  • Re-evaluating your strategy and implementing a more carbon-neutral plan may therefore benefit your company.

Why does net zero matter for small businesses?

Stay compliant

With the UK Government continuing to introduce legislation to meet the 2050 net zero target, making changes to your business operations will ensure you stay compliant.

Cut your costs

Reducing energy consumption, cutting waste, or saving water are just a few of the solutions that can positively impact your bottom line.

Supply chain

With more businesses starting to review how eco-friendly their supply chains are, your suppliers may start to ask you how you’re working to reduce your carbon footprint. If you cannot meet the requirements you may have contracts cancelled or not renewed.

Attract new customers

As consumers become more conscious of their carbon footprint, they’ll be on the lookout to spend their money with businesses that align with their eco-friendly values.

Check your timelines

Don’t forget that dates and net zero legislation might differ if you’re in England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, so make sure you stay in the know.

The planet

Do your bit for the environment! Small businesses will play a vital role in reaching net zero and every business can contribute in their unique way.


Got a question?

If you’re interested in learning more about business sustainability, our team are here to help.

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