3 quick wins for reducing your carbon emissions

Fionuala Lloyd
Net Zero Communications Assistant | Business West
26th November 2021

Despite the whirlwind of the past 18 months, UK SMEs remain committed to sustainability. 

Business West’s QES survey found that 70% of businesses recognised climate change as an issue for their business. However, 55% of these said they lacked the knowledge, capacity or resources to do something about it.  

Whilst devising and implementing a climate strategy within your business might seem like a daunting task, there are a number of quick wins SMEs can implement to set them on their journey to net zero. 

With this in mind, we want to eliminate those barriers and share with you some of the initiatives and organisations that are easy and quick to become a part of. They will not only reduce your carbon footprint but will make your business more sustainable. 


1. Switch to a renewable energy provider 

A great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to switch your energy provider to one that uses sustainable renewable energy. This eliminates any carbon that is produced through energy consumption for your business.  

Better still there a number of renewable energy suppliers locally who you spend your money with: 

Ecotricity is a green gas and electricity supplier based in Stroud. Their aim is to end the use of fossil fuels by making all energy use sustainable. They are extremely dedicated to working with SMEs, and offer SMEs specific tariffs which have reduced prices. 

RWE Renewables is an energy provider that produces clean and affordable electricity. They have invested in the expansion of renewables with their businesses and have a goal to be carbon-neutral by 2040. 

Vattenfall are one of Europe’s largest producers and retailers of electricity and heat. They are committed to making a fossil fuel free way of living and have several ongoing projects committed to developing reliable, renewable energy for their customers. 

Switching your energy provider to renewable energy has never been easier as you can get a quote online.  


2. Go carbon neutral 

The replanting of trees to compensate for the carbon emissions you put into the atmosphere is known technically as ‘offsetting’. Whilst offsetting is not the answer to becoming net zero, it does allow your business to become carbon neutral. Without getting bogged down in terminology, it's important to understand that net zero and carbon neutral are different things. Whilst net zero by 2050 is the overall goal, in order to get there becoming carbon neutral is a good way to start.  

Ecologi promotes a climate positive workforce by planting trees to create your own ‘company forest’. What’s more they will give you a breakdown on your public profile which will tell you how many trees you have planted and how many tonnes of CO2 have been removed from the atmosphere because of this. 

You can share your profile with customers, employees, or anyone you like to showcase the positive impact you’re having on the environment. The monthly charge depends on how many employees you have and starts at £5.20 per month per employee. Your fee will also go towards funding planet saving projects such as the Mangrove planting in Madagascar. 

Details on how to sign up can be found on their website. 


3. Recycle your waste 

In the UK only 35% of SME waste is recycled. Viridor is a sustainable waste removal and management organisation. They offer a ‘one stop shop’ solution to waste. They collect waste from all over the UK and recycle the materials to encourage a zero-waste society. By 2045 they aim to be the first net zero waste and recycling company. 

They provide a free business waste audit, which will advise you on the most efficient and cost-effective way to control your waste. 

You can get a quote from their website or contact them to discuss a tailored waste management plan for your business. 


Why is this important? 

In the UK alone, 99.3% of businesses are SMEs. As a small business, you can have a BIG impact. Climate change is an issue which isn’t going away, future generations are calling for change which needs to be implemented not just by world leaders or large organisations, but by the entire business community.  

The way in which you address sustainability and efficiency of your business, will not only impact you, your business or your customers, but the climate crisis of the planet. 

For more climate advice, visit our Trading To Net Zero Hub.

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