Coalition launched to support SMEs with net zero
The Zero Carbon Business Partnership has been created to play a key role in helping UK SMEs on their journey to net zero, with research showing that a third are not familiar with the phrase.
The Partnership aims to ensure SMEs in the UK are provided with clear and easy-to-follow advice and support on how to get started and ahead of national targets on emissions.
It has been developed by a number of business groups and energy bodies including, amongst others, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the British Chambers of Commerce, Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Make UK and Electricity North West.
It is the first time a coalition of this magnitude has come to together to specifically drive SME progress towards the UK’s legally binding net zero target.
SMEs ‘unsure where to start’
The launch follows a survey of SMEs by the Partnership which shows that, despite caring about cutting carbon, most SMEs are unsure where to start and where to get help.
Over half (57 per cent) rated the importance of their environmental impact as either 4 or 5 out of 5, but 71 per cent could not recommend a single web source for help, one third were unfamiliar with the phrase ‘net zero’ and 40% said money was a blocker to taking action.
‘Lifeblood of the economy’
Miranda Barker, CEO of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy, which means they have a critical role in ensuring we meet our net zero target. In order to help us get there, they need to be able to understand what net zero means, along with clear guidance from trustworthy partners.”
Richard Hagan, managing director of Crystal Doors, an SME in Rochdale and one of GC Business Growth Hub’s sustainability success stories, has been involved in the development of the Partnership.
I was in a proper crisis in 2015. I had to change, or I’d have had to close my business,” he said. “So, I learnt as much as I could abut climate change as quickly as possible - which is what everybody needs to do - and I turned it all around.”
SMEs in Greater Manchester can access fully-funded support from GC Business Growth Hub to help them reduce their emissions and improve efficiency.
Posted under General Interest, Carbon Reduction and Climate Change and What it Means to You on 28 April 2021