Posted on: 03/08/2022
Turning a new leaf with Net Zero
A recent YouGov survey of business decision makers found that only 29% of UK businesses have a strategy for Net Zero, with 42% feeling overwhelmed by what is required. So we've compiled this customer guide to help you think about what Net Zero means to your business, breaking down the jargon and highlighting quick wins for carbon reduction.
Looking at things from a different business perspective, making that commitment to change, coming up with a plan, and then of course sticking to it are all challenges that your business and employees will face.
An important point to note is that change won’t happen over night, the right approach for your business takes time to figure out and put into action. It must also be sustainable in the long-term.
You’ll need a plan to help you on your journey to net zero, initially, it might be something simple like carrying out the quick wins in this net zero guide. Some could even help have a positive effect on your bottom line.
Net Zero Quick Wins
1. Switch to Renewable Energy
This is one of the simplest but most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, we break the misconception that renewable energy ultimately costs a lot more, when in reality it won’t. Small business customers can learn more about our low-cost, REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) backed energy products here.
2. Reduce your Car Travel
Another positive step to cutting your emissions is to consider your forms of transportation. Electric cars are the lowest carbon, they emit around a third of the CO2 of a petrol car in the UK. Government grants may be available to subsidise the cost of new electric vehicles. If your business relies heavily on the use of transport, you may also want to seek advice from The Energy Saving Trust (EST).
3. Get Energy Efficient Lighting
Likely the most obvious but changing lighting across a building to more energy efficient options such as LED can make a big difference. Use of natural lighting and switching off where possible can also be a quick win. Motion sensors and dimmable lights should also help reduce electricity usage and therefore costs.
4. Check Office Temperatures
Lots of energy can be wasted if heating and/or cooling systems are incorrectly set or not working in harmony. Installing a heating management system to control it may help. If your heating system is much simpler, ensure the setting on the thermostat reflects the desired temperature. Avoid dramatic swings in temperature.
5. Reuse, Recycle & Reduce
Empowering your workforce to reduce energy, water and paper consumption all helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Actions like going paperless and ensuring staff have reusable food/drink containers can all help. There are solutions everywhere to going digital and therefore cut down on paper usage. If you can’t go without it then try looking into the cost of using recycled paper.
6. Decarbonise your Supply Chain
Your supply chain falls within Scope 3, which is usually the hardest to reduce. It can take a lot of time to engage and also agree on the action with existing suppliers and their customers to reduce emissions. Whilst this is not necessarily a quick win, there is increasing pressure on suppliers to have sustainable credentials. You might already find that many have plans to reduce carbon emissions.
Calculating your business carbon footprint
But to build something sustainable, you’ll need to be able to measure your emissions to understand your business footprint, identify emission hotspots and work out how to reduce them over time. We recommend using a tool developed by the Carbon Trust, specifically built for small & medium-sized businesses.
Carbon Footprint Calculator:
The tool is not an extensive calculator but will help you measure emissions from your fuel and processes (Scope 1 emissions) and those emissions from electricity purchased to operate your business assets (Scope 2 emissions).
Become an even brighter spark
As with any important matter such as climate change, carbon reduction and net zero, there is a wealth of information online to further your understanding. We appreciate you have a business to run, and there’s so much to digest, that’s why we’ve created this customer guide.
That said it would be a worthy investment of your time to dig around and find out other sources that offer advice and support on the matter. As a starting point, we can recommend the Net Zero for Businesses Guide compiled by The Carbon Trust. It’s available to download directly from their website link below.
Download our Net Zero Help Guide
To download a copy of our Net Zero Guide for Small Businesses, please click here.
Net Zero Jargon Buster
The jargon around the Net Zero topic can sometimes be confusing, so we’ve covered off the basics below…