Eye-opening business attitude and progress towards net-zero

With a third of UK businesses admitting to not having started any journey to reduce emissions, a whopping 70% of businesses say that additional government incentives and/or penalties regarding sustainability would speed up their business’s journey to net zero. This is according to research we commissioned to 1,000 SME senior managers and decision makers via one poll.

As a carbon negative company, we decided to take a business snapshot across the nation to ascertain how far businesses were on the journey to net zero, if policies were in place and being implemented, and if net-zero targets were going to be met. Small businesses often have relatively low emission footprints at an individual level, but it is estimated that collectively they account for around half (43-53%) of UK business greenhouse gas emissions, and so plans need to be in place for ALL UK businesses to reduce emissions.

The research showed that although two-thirds have created plans to reduce emissions, worryingly only 33% of businesses are implementing these plans, with a third of UK businesses admitting to not even starting the planning towards net-zero.

The research also revealed that almost half of UK businesses viewed sustainability as a cost and not an investment, a short-term view that can only hinder the transition to significant carbon reduction.

It is for this reason that Government needs to provide wide-spread incentives for emission reductions such as a green tax relief for businesses who measure and annually reduce their emissions. Currently initiatives are per sector and turned on and off too quickly for actual change. For instance, the Electric Vehicle Home charge Scheme (EVHS) which ends this April, before large scale EV pick up has even occurred.

With targets to cut 68% of emissions by 2030 are we collectively doing enough to achieve this?

I hope that you find this survey results both interesting and useful.

Our efforts continue to be on raising awareness and supporting the business community with insight and also practical solutions from our own 26yr sustainability journey. Our unique Planet Positive Printing solution being a case in point which enables our clients to produce their printed materials in a way that is Net positive on climate change.