The UK Government has launched a new sustainability hub to support Britain’s small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to decarbonise.
British businesses will be able to access new advice and support to reduce their energy bills and cut their carbon emissions from the UK Business Climate Hub.
The UK Business Climate Hub launched on 14th August 2023 includes a free carbon calculator and a suite of new tools to help businesses measure, track and report on their emissions and save money by using less energy.
It offers detailed advice on everything from sourcing products from green suppliers and reducing emissions from freight and logistics to the most cost-effective ways of installing solar panels and electric vehicle (EV) charging points.
The new support is aimed particularly at 5.5 million SMEs in the UK, with business and industry accounting for around 25% of emissions. Research shows that 90% of SMEs are keen to tackle climate change, but find it difficult to know how or where to start to find the right solutions to reduce their carbon footprint.
Studies also show 85% of consumers are more likely to buy from a business with a reputation for sustainability, meaning going green can help grow the economy.
Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Graham Stuart (pictured), said: “The UK has cut its emissions more than any other major economy in the world. More and more businesses are recognising the business benefits of reaching net zero and we’re determined to empower them to do so.
“The new UK Business Climate Hub is a one-stop-shop for businesses to find practical advice to reduce their carbon footprint and save on their energy bills.
“Whether it’s fitting a low-carbon heat pump, generating energy with solar panels, or reducing the emissions from shipping goods, the new support will ensure businesses can drive towards net zero.”
The new UK Business Climate Hub serves as a one-stop-shop for businesses who have yet to start making changes, as well as those who are already taking action to reduce emissions but want to take things to the next level.
As well as helping bosses measure and report on their emissions, the site provides advice and support on an array of things, including: switching employee modes of transport and paying less for company EVs; getting business grants, green loans and financing for a retrofit; reducing emissions from farming and land use; buying credible carbon offsets; getting low-carbon product labels and certifications; and reducing waste and recycling more.
The new UK Business Climate Hub, which is being managed by the Broadway Initiative, has been developed in partnership with associations such as the Federation of Small Business and the Institute of Directors and with support so far from the British Business Bank, HSBC, NatWest, Electricity North West, Northern Powergrid and National Grid. It is the UK partner of the international SME Climate Hub.
National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, Martin McTague, said: “We are pleased to have contributed to the new UK Business Climate Hub that will provide businesses with trusted tools and information to help them navigate the net zero transition.
“SMEs recognise their role in net zero but many still find it challenging to access the relevant support and resources to play their part. This new official platform for advice and support will really help.
“In addition to helping small firms become more energy and resource efficient, the hub also has the opportunity to empower small firms to take ambitious steps towards net zero, ultimately ensuring that they also benefit from the economic opportunities created in a net zero economy.”
The new site is endorsed by business leaders and ministers on the new Net Zero Council and comes as the organisation calls on business representative organisations across the country to take concerted action to plan to reduce their members’ emissions.
The group, comprising CEOs from leading companies including Co-op, HSBC, Siemens and Cemex, have developed a new business roadmap framework to help empower businesses to work with others in their sector to create tailored action plans for their own industry to decarbonise.
These sector roadmaps would help companies the length and breadth of the country, from Aberdeen to Aberystwyth, and Penzance to Peterborough, to transition to net zero.
Co-Chair of the Net Zero Council, Co-op Group Chief Executive Shirine Khoury-Haq, said: “None of us will get to net zero without all of us getting to net zero, so ensuring that every business and every sector has a clear plan for delivering this non-negotiable target is key. I hope the UK Business Climate Hub will be a valuable tool for business leaders looking for guidance and support in this vital endeavour.
“The framework, which has been endorsed by the Net Zero Council, is designed to support organisations working to articulate a credible roadmap to net zero on a sector by sector basis.”