76% of small business yet to act on carbon emissions - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

76% of small business yet to act on carbon emissions


By Timothy Adler on Small Business UK - Advice and Ideas for UK Small Businesses and SMEs

road with words 'net zero 2050' superimposed on it

Three quarters of small businesses have yet to do anything about reducing their carbon emissions, despite the Government’s 2050 net-zero target.

This is despite small businesses accounting for half of greenhouse gas emissions generated by all UK businesses, almost a third (30 per cent) of all UK emissions, including households, industry and Government.

Just 3 per cent of small businesses surveyed by the state-owned British Business Bank say they have measured their carbon footprint in the past five years and subsequently set an emissions reduction target.

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More than half of businesses surveyed (54 per cent) said they were not ready to prioritise going carbon neutral.

Over a third of small businesses (35 per cent) cited cost as a barrier to reducing emissions and going carbon neutral.

However, 94 per cent of small businesses said they had taken at least one action to reduce their emissions, though the report said they tended to be low-effort once, such as installing a smart meter.

The research highlights the scale of the challenge in persuading smaller firms to cut their carbon footprint.

>See also: Rishi Sunak eyeing online sales tax for the spring

A separate recent report from NatWest found that small and medium-sized companies had the potential to meet half of the UK’s decarbonisation goal, “if they receive the right support through funding, knowledge and training”.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO, British Business Bank said: “More than half of smaller businesses say they’re not ready to prioritise decarbonisation, so clearly more needs to be done.”

Small Business Minister Paul Scully added: “Small businesses need to be front and centre in our national effort to reduce emissions.”

The BBB surveyed 1,200 smaller businesses for its Smaller businesses and the transition to net zero report.

Further reading

Government delays business rates reform yet again

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Timothy Adler, Khareem Sudlow