According a recent study by the British Chambers of Commerce, only 1 in 10 small businesses measure their carbon footprint. That’s despite over half of the businesses saying that their customers were concerned about the climate crisis. The research also showed only 1 in 7 have set targets to reduce their emissions – down from 1 in 5 when firms were surveyed before the pandemic in February 2020.
Interestingly it also found that 1in 5 businesses don’t fully understand the term ‘net zero,’ and almost a third have yet to seek advice or information to help them develop a net zero roadmap or improve their environmental sustainability.
With the impacts of the pandemic and other priorities weighing heavily on small and medium sized businesses, the research found that smaller firms were far more likely to be behind on climate action. When it came to setting carbon reduction targets, 27% of larger firms have done so, compared to just 9% of microbusinesses.
Is concern converting into action?
Despite a lack of awareness on carbon footprints, many companies are still taking a wide variety of positive actions to reduce their emissions and become greener.
Over the next 12 months, 54% of businesses surveyed said that are planning to reduce their consumption (e.g. of paper, food and plastics), 47% are planning to reduce the energy they use through travel, and 40% are planning to reduce the energy used at their offices and premises. Of those looking to take action, 8 in 10 (79%) said they that concern about the environment was the motivating factor to change, followed by efficiency gains or cost savings.
Now is the time for your business to develop a clear action plan to reach net zero
In 2019, the UK made a legally binding pledge: to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The science is clear – the next decade is critical for action on climate – and with growing public concern and increasing scrutiny from government and investors, now’s the time for businesses to ramp up their efforts in reaching net zero.
Members of the Sustainable Wedding Alliance have access to tools and resources to help them create a carbon reduction plan, monitor the carbon footprint and guidance on how to make a net zero commitment. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch.