A guide to net zero for SMEs

Article posted

14th Jun 2022

Read time

5-10 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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Why is net zero important?

By now most people would have heard of the term net-zero? But what exactly is this and what does it mean for your business? Net-zero refers to the target most countries have to completely reduce greenhouse gasses, so no harmful emissions are being released into our atmosphere.  In 2015 197 countries agreed during the Paris agreement to find a way to stop global warming from going above a 1.5c limit.

The reason these net-zero targets have become so important in recent years is that the earth’s climate could become uninhabitable by 2050 if changes are not made. Therefore, as the UK is pledged to become net-zero by 2050 means all UK businesses need a plan to begin doing the same.


Your business' carbon footprint

Everybody has a carbon footprint, and your business is no different. Each company has its own carbon footprint as most businesses will carry out activities that produce greenhouse gasses. Even if your business is not a huge manufacturing company you will most likely still produce greenhouse gasses in some way whether it be directly or indirectly.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol has broken down an organization’s carbon footprint into three different sections. These are scopes 1,2 and 3. There are two types of carbon footprints that your business has there are organizational (scope 1 and 2) and a value chain footprint which covers all direct and indirect emissions.

  • Scope 1 - emissions that come from direct activities within an organization’s control. This could be emissions coming from company vehicles.
  • Scope 2 - Indirect emissions that are associated with how your building is run for example using heat, electricity, and gas.
  • Scope 3 - emissions are all other indirect emissions across an organization’s value chain. There are 15 categories of emissions defined by the GHG Protocol. This could be how products are produced and how they are disposed of by the end-user.

Calculating your business’s carbon footprint can help you see how much your business is contributing to climate change and where you need to make changes. To further understand your business’s carbon footprint, see our solutions here. We can provide you with full reporting on scope 1 and 2 emissions so you can see exactly where your business’s carbon footprint is from.


How net-zero will drive your business forward

There can be many challenges that SMEs meet when trying to meet sustainability plans and trying to make changes. However there are many advantages that can help your business by becoming net zero, such as:

  • Making more profits and saving money -  Introducing energy management practices such as smart meters will help you see where your energy demand is spiking and can help you save money by becoming more efficient in these areas. Also, energy-saving measures can be taken to reduce energy expenses such as heat pumps, energy-efficient lighting, etc. Switching to local suppliers could increase profits as you would pay less for shipping.
  • Competitive advantage - larger companies usually rely on their suppliers to become net-zero. This gives SMEs a competitive advantage as low carbon products and services are becoming more demanded across the supply chain. Being able to meet this demand will give you lots of business opportunities.
  • Customer expectations - Customers are now expecting companies to be making an ethical decisions especially when it comes to climate change. This means net zero could open your business to a new market.
  • Good reputation - Cutting down on carob and showing you are actively doing something towards climate change shows a lot of corporate responsibility and will in turn make your company more respectable.


What SMEs are struggling with to getting a net-zero plan

  • In-house sustainability expertise - As a smaller business it can bed difficult on knowing where to start with cutting down on carbon if you do not know how. The lack of budget for this is often many businesses’ barrier to net zero. However, you could outsource this to a company like us, we have a team of energy experts that can help you achieve your sustainability goals.
  • Time or resources to tackle carbon footprint - Many SMEs have smaller teams this means that people are often too busy with their day to day roles to take on a new responsibility. Also installing heat pumps or other energy saving measures can be a big investment at first. However, our energy experts can take care of all your net zero needs which means we will need very little of your or your employee’s time to get started reducing your business’s carbon footprint.  We can also find energy solutions that suit your budget and will save the company money in the long run.
  • Lack of knowledge on how to measure and reduce value - chain emissions - Educating your staff can be time-consuming however it is critical that your staff understand the importance of becoming Net Zero. Our engagement experts can encourage your employees to take ownership and champion the net zero commitment.


Resolving the issue - start taking action now

We have plans available to help your business reduce greenhouse gas emissions without having to spend a lot of time doing so. Our plans are designed to help you reach your goals no matter if you haven’t started thinking about net zero or you have already started but need certain services to help you accelerate. See all of our soloutions and start your plan today.   


If you're ready to improve your energy efficiency whilst driving down energy bills then why not get in touch? From voltage optimisation to solar, Resolve Net Zero have developed relationships with the UK's best sustainability partners so our net zero experts can source the best carbon reduction solutions available to your company. Request a free quote now and start reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills today.