Over the last decade, we have seen many UK companies, both SMEs and major corporations, strive to utilize more environmentally friendly manufacturing practices. However, it appears that UK companies want to go much farther, with the goal of reaching net zero by 2050. The issue now is, how will this be accomplished? What role do SMEs play in lowering greenhouse gas emissions? What role do large businesses play? What appears to be the customer's requirements? This article will look at why it is important for all UK firms to achieve Net Zero.

Carbon Brief has carried out a new survey, finding out that the UK's greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 would be 51% lower than in 1990. Although this is encouraging news, much more will be required to achieve our target of net zero emissions by 2050.

While we are all aware of Covid's catastrophic impact on UK companies, the following economic recovery provides an opportunity to rebuild our economy more sustainably.

As we carefully emerge from the current lockdown here in the UK, the SME community must now join together to work on the post-covid recovery alongside our goal to become net zero to guarantee progression continues so that we can shatter the 2050 target – or, better still, accomplish it ahead of schedule.

Why are Small and Medium Enterprises vital for Net Zero?

The UK government has put in place the announcement of the world's most ambitious climate change target: a 78% reduction in emissions by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

Along with large corporations and individual consumers, SMEs directly enable the UK to meet these innovative new carbon reduction targets. Here's why, as a business owner, you should jump on board right away if you haven't already.

The figures and the financial perspective

In London, SMEs account for 97 percent of the economy and are solely responsible for a quarter of UK emissions. Despite, 25% seemingly being small in comparison to the large businesses that contribute more, the UK will naturally fail to reach its climate targets if these emissions are not reduced.

Going green can also be beneficial to your company's financial line. According to research, the SME community can save £3 billion by implementing basic energy-saving measures.

Customer demands are rising and becoming more sophisticated

Being low or zero carbon in a company is fast becoming a need rather than an option. Customers are committing their allegiance to companies that embrace environmentally friendly methods, goods, and services. You are possibly opting out of future trading if you do not commit to net zero.

According to the Research made by Data Time: 80% of UK customers now describe themselves as "environmentally friendly," and 82 percent say they reflect "environmentally friendly" labeling when making purchasing decisions. A further 59% said they intentionally avoid certain types of packaging.

How Can SMEs Begin to Achieve Net Zero?

1. Measure your contribution

The first step is to use simple measurement equipment to track your carbon outputs. After determining what your company provides, you may begin to identify areas for development before implementing a plan for achieving your objectives.

Additionally, by offering flexible working alternatives to your workers can help minimize carbon-emitting commutes while improving overall productivity and motivation.

2. Opt for sustainable infrastructure

Air conditioning equipment emit a significant amount of CO2. Where possible, use open windows and fans, and keep your workspace's heating and cooling equipment in good working order.

Purchase goods manufactured from sustainable materials from providers with a low or carbon-neutral supply chain while decorating your space.

3. Recycle and reuse

Recycling is a very simple process. Invest in recycled plastic and materials, install recycling bins, and, where possible, restrict single-use plastics.

By providing vegan and vegetarian food alternatives, you may even urge your staff to reduce their own personal greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Join net zero initiatives

There are lots of initiatives out there that have been set up to help organizations achieve net-zero. Take the Mayor of London’s Business Climate Challenge, for example.

Emissions from heating and powering commercial and industrial buildings account for 36% of London's total carbon footprint. With this in mind, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has unveiled a new initiative to assist companies in the capital in meeting London's objective of attaining net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Many SMEs have already shown interest in participating in the trial.

We are here to assist the growth of your firm and help you achieve cash flow headroom while the country emerges from the coronavirus shutdown. If your firm requires funding to help it recover, find out what you could be qualified for now.

Case Studies: BP and Ford taking the lead

BP Impact in fighting for Net Zero

Bernard Looney, BP's CEO, first declared the increased commitment in February 2020. In particular, the business intends to achieve net-zero emissions across its operations and manufacturing by 2050 or sooner and reduce the carbon intensity of the items it sells by half within the same time frame.

The firm stated that it will take a variety of steps to reach its new objectives, including considerably expanding its investment in low-carbon energy sources, decreasing oil and gas output by 40% by 2030, and installing methane-reduction technology.

Ford's fight for less Greenhouse Gas emissions

The famous American manufacturer and the world's third-largest automaker by market share Ford declared a ground-breaking commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 in June 2020. Notably, the firm stated that it was working on developing science-based objectives for its Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.

Ford plans to invest $11.5 billion through 2022 to electrify its nameplate vehicles, build North America's greatest public charging network, and power all of its production plants with renewable energy by 2035 to fulfill its new objective.

Ultimately, it appears that the battle to achieve Net Zero for both small and medium-sized businesses and large companies is being waged in the United Kingdom. As a result of SMEs accounting for 97 percent of the UK economy, 25 percent of which are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, it seems that they will play a vital role in achieving net-zero emissions, and with 80 percent of customers considering themselves to be environmentally friendly, it suggests that we are getting closer to this reality. Large corporations are also attempting to achieve this goal; Ford and BP's substantial expenditures in more eco-sustainable techniques demonstrate that the world is progressing.