? EDITOR ’ S QUESTION //
SMES SHOULD ENSURE THEY ARE BUILDING
NET ZERO TARGETS INTO THEIR BUSINESS PLAN , CLEARLY COMMUNICATE
THIS TO EMPLOYEES AND ENSURE THEY RECEIVE APPROPRIATE TRAINING TO TAKE ACTION .
I n the UK , the government has announced the world ’ s most ambitious national climate change target in law , aiming to reduce emissions by 78 % by 2030 .
That will be no small feat and requires a worldwide commitment to achieve it . Currently , small- and medium-sized enterprises ( SMEs ) generate 44 % of the UK ’ s non-household greenhouse gas emissions . While research shows that they want to be greener , 90 % feel restrained by cash flow obstacles and difficulty finding the right solutions to improve their environmental impact – so how can SMEs meet their targets ?
Take small first steps , like considering efficiency
Energy efficiency is often the first and easiest action SMEs can take towards progress on net zero targets . This might mean something as simple as ensuring all lighting uses the most efficient bulbs available , or as significant as installing rooftop solar panels and heat pumps in place of gas boilers .
Engage your staff
A recent poll by ACCA Global found that more than 80 % of its members said it was important or very important for their organisation to operate in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way . SMEs should ensure they are building net zero targets into their business plan , clearly communicate this to employees and ensure they receive appropriate training to take action . This includes understanding what support they might need to manage the administrative burden of sustainability reporting , providing training on how they can both improve the efficiency of the business and making data more accessible .
Start measuring your impact
SMEs are under increased pressure to measure their carbon footprint to access supply chains as well as capital . Although the overall goal may be overwhelming , setting incremental goals to hold your business accountable is a great way to ensure targets are being met .
For example , the SME Climate Hub , a nonprofit global initiative , provides guidance on how small businesses can set net zero targets , measure their emissions and develop climate strategies .
Because carbon emissions are set to come under greater regulatory pressure , measuring them now is also important to make your business fit for the future .
Forget the jargon ; think about resilience
The net zero agenda is a jungle of hard to pronounce acronyms that spring up like mushrooms . Forget about the acronyms and labels and instead , focus on resilience . Think about the risks and opportunities that your business is exposed to . If you are in the transport industry , you are probably already thinking about the impacts of the ban on diesel vehicles . If you are in the food and beverage industry , disruption in supply chains and changes in consumers preferences will hardly be something you have never thought about .
ELISA MOSCOLIN , EVP OF SUSTAINABILITY & SOCIETY , SAGE
Intelligent SME . tech