Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) account for 99.9% of all businesses in the private sector in the UK, with London accounting for 34% of the overall business population. According to the Carbon Trust, the average SME generates around 15 tonnes of CO2 annually, making up 44% of the total UK non household emissions. Despite their alarming contribution, research from Lloyds Bank found that over three-quarters (77%) of small businesses do not have any business strategy to reduce their carbon footprint in the next three years and a concerning 2.5 million business owners do not know what is meant by ‘net zero’.
To that end, SaveMoneyCutCarbon (SMCC) has calculated how much CO2 the biggest start up hubs in the UK emit on a yearly basis and further, outlines a six step plan for businesses to accelerate eco goals. It was found in a recent report that the UK is falling behind on government pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, significantly delaying our progress to meet net zero by 2050. While more than one-third (34%) of the world's largest companies state being committed to net zero, nearly all (93%) are forecast to fail to achieve their goals if they don't at least double the pace of emissions reduction by 2030, according to a new report from Accenture. Understanding the fundamental role that businesses play in the wider environmental goal and with research from SMCC showing that over one in five (22%) consumers are now only supporting companies with sustainability at the forefront of their operation, the sustainability consultants identify the top start up hubs in the nation and also within the capital to encourage the implementation of green operations. Top start up hubs within the UK:
Top 5 areas in London for start ups and SMEs:
SaveMoneyCutCarbon’s recent report identified a lack of stringent training and ESG procedures within UK businesses as just 18% of UK respondents agreed that sustainability is included in training packages at their place of work, with this disproportionately being true for city workers where 25% of Londoners agree with this sentiment.
In a bid to ensure sustainability remains a business critical for the 5.5 million SMEs across the UK, SMCC SaveMoneyCutCarbon shares its tech hubs – audits and analysis, renewables, water reductions and smart washrooms, demand reduction, EV charging and content and design – that deliver the services and solutions offered, pulling on approximately 75 manufacturers and solution providers. As a result of its one stop shop approach, SMCC has delivered over 1000 audits, energy, water and decarbonisation projects covering all the key decarbonisation technologies and across all sectors.
Although not formally recognised, employee carbon literacy is a key tenet of a business’s ambition to reduce its carbon footprint. In light of this, SMCC has launched a 12 month programme called EcoWise, aimed at encouraging staff to learn, employ practical changes in their home and workplace, and reap rewards – all while providing quantifiable data for firms to report on their ESG strategies. Mark Sait, CEO of SaveMoneyCutCarbon, commented: ‘Businesses are likely to bear the brunt of the changes needed if the UK is going to get to net zero, but there is little pragmatic support to help businesses of all sizes to better understand what can be done, and where to start. Working at a company without a meaningful plan to reduce its environmental impact is a no go for many job seekers. For employees, frustration at their own organisation’s lack of development leads to a new phenomenon: climate quitting. ‘Climate quitting then is a natural symptom of the wider problem. In order to guard against this phenomenon effectively, businesses can’t knock back a few painkillers – they need to treat the root cause. ‘Employers must understand the generations who are increasingly turning away from roles who do not prioritise ESG goals, but further to continue to drive progress on the challenges that matter most to them. This will not only help boost productivity and retain talent – it will ultimately build trust and value for business in society more broadly. ‘The market is very fragmented with many individual consultants, manufacturers and installers all tackling bits of the sustainability jigsaw. SaveMoneyCutCarbon is solving this, by aggregating selected, proven technologies and solutions from a wide range of manufacturers. Products and solutions need to be carefully selected by building an application, brought together, and installed correctly to maximise savings. Now that businesses and homes can really save money through sustainability, the narrative is changing. Everyone wants to save money.’