5 Top Tips to Help Make Your Business Reach Net Zero
5 May 2023
The New York Times reported that the eight warmest years on record have all occurred since 2014. Despite this, according to The Bank of Scotland, 40% of SMEs do not know what it means for their business. That’s where Newable comes in; we’ve curated some top tips for SMEs to aid their journey to Net Zero.
With 5.6 million SMEs making up 90% of the business population, it is imperative that SMEs understand how they can implement strategies to help the UK reach the net zero 2050 target, as set in The Paris Climate Agreement.
What does net zero actually mean?
Before moving on to how your company can become net zero, it is important to understand what net zero actually means.
In their journey to net zero report titled ‘Going the Distance’, Sphera, leading provider of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and risk management software and consultancy, have defined net zero as reducing all value-chain greenhouse gas emissions and balancing any remaining emissions through removals. Simply put, net zero refers to the balance of greenhouse gases being emitted and absorbed. This is called carbon neutrality.
To become carbon neutral, we must reduce, or even stop, the burning of fossil fuels. These fossil fuels, including coal, oil and gas, are the main contributors to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
This may sound like something you cannot control. However, there are many other ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint.
So how can your business help the UK reach it’s target of net zero by 2050?
1. Measure and track your carbon emissions to become net zero
Your business will be creating emissions directly and indirectly, via electricity consumption and its supply chain. By measuring your business’s carbon footprint, it allows you to analyse your current activities and create a strategic plan for targeted and effective reduction efforts.
Our team of experienced advisors here at Newable can guide you through creating a Carbon Emissions Action Plan and support you with implementation advice and funding support.
2. Engage employees to help your business become net zero
No matter the size of your business, it is essential that you engage your employees on your journey to becoming net zero. A poll created by Positive Planet found that teams with high engagement rates are 21% more productive. Engaging employees is an effective way of sharing the sustainable responsibilities and allows for more ideas and initiatives to be created.
Engaging employees does not just need to take place in the office. Help your employees lower their emissions they create during their commute. This can be achieved by offering a cycle to work scheme. This will not only contribute to your journey of becoming a net zero company but will also help to improve the health of your staff.
3. Switch to renewable energy and become net zero
Green energy suppliers can obtain their energy from sources such as wind, the sun and water. Switching to a renewable energy supplier is a quick win on your journey to becoming net zero. The best advice is to research which energy sources and suppliers would be best suited for your business and net zero strategy.
4. Improve office insulation and become net zero
According to BusinessWest, non-domestic buildings are responsible for producing 9% of UK greenhouse gases each year. Reducing your office energy use will not only positively contribute to your journey to net zero but it will also save you money. By properly insulating your office you will be able to reduce your energy use.
5. Share your journey’s progress to becoming net zero
Sharing your progress with you team, clients, stakeholders and customers is a nice way to increase awareness of the importance of becoming net zero. However, that is not the only benefit. By sharing your net zero goals and achievements, others will be holding you accountable and expecting you to achieve such goals, which is always great motivation!
Xander Schultz, CEO of Complete App, reports that ‘those who publicly declare their intentions are four times more likely to complete their tasks than those who keep their tasks private’.
Why should you become a net zero?
Aside from combatting climate change and saving the environment, reducing your carbon footprint can give your business a competitive edge.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) objectives are becoming a major factor for many businesses when making decisions. These objectives consider the impact a business has on the environment and society, as well as the transparency and how ethical business practices are.
It is important to have a strong ESG framework as stakeholders and consumers are increasingly informing their decisions based on a business’s ESG credentials. In a recent report published by PwC, the second-largest professional services network in the world, it was stated that 76% of consumers would discontinue relations with companies who do not have strong ESG credentials.
How can Newable help you on your journey to becoming net zero?
We are aware that the points above require money and effort to implement. Here at Newable, we have a team of experienced advisors passionate about helping SMEs by providing fully funded advice. We give a range of external support and can help you on your journey to net zero by identifying energy saving initiatives and recommendations. Find out more about how Newable can help you on your journey to becoming net zero.
50% of SMEs have committed or already achieved reaching net zero. Join them now.
We can also help you in other areas of your business. Whether it be Money, Advice or Workspace, Newable provides the essential resources businesses need to take the next step.