To support the UK’s journey towards net-zero emissions by 2050, in 2021 the Government called on small businesses to do their bit for the environment and reduce their carbon footprints.
By any stretch, achieving net-zero emissions in under 30 years is a challenging target and one that only has any hope of being realised if everyone contributes. Yet, with the clock ticking, many small business owners are unsure how to even measure their carbon footprint, let alone reduce it.
In this blog, we look at the challenges facing small businesses as they look to embark on their net-zero journeys and how Tariff.com is ideally placed to ensure the goal of carbon neutrality is reached.
In research published by the British Chambers of Commerce in 2021, it was revealed that only one in 10 small businesses actively measure their carbon footprint. In other words, 90% of British businesses have no idea how much carbon they pump into the atmosphere.
Clearly, there are multiple barriers preventing British businesses from setting and achieving environmental targets, but which are the biggest?
1.Lack of Guidance
Not knowing where to start when it comes to measuring carbon emissions is a common complaint and there’s certainly a lack of clear, official guidance. Indeed, one in 5 business owners claim not to fully understand what the term ‘net-zero’ even means. Of those that do, almost a third have yet to seek advice or information so a plan to achieve net zero or improve sustainability can be drafted.
At one time, the Carbon Trust would provide free, personalised advice to businesses but since its privatisation, this has ended. For businesses wanting a human touch to their carbon strategy, employing a professional consultant to calculate overall carbon footprint can be eye-wateringly expensive. Though consultants are typically tight-lipped about the cost of their services, it’s estimated that the average ‘life cycle assessment’ — a popular method of measuring environmental footprints — can cost £10k per product or service.
3.It’s Not a Priority
In the wake of the pandemic and with a cost of living crisis routing the UK economy, around two-thirds of businesses simply don’t consider a net-zero target to be a high priority. Understandably many businesses have been preoccupied with survival as the past few years have hacked away at the time, money, and staff needed to properly tackle issues surrounding sustainability.
It’s clear to see that small businesses need more support when it comes to measuring and reducing their carbon footprints.
In fact, it is the reason we created our carbon consultancy service.
Although we passionately believe that every business has a duty to do its bit for the planet, we understand the pressures this duty applies. Our consultancy service aims to make going carbon neutral easier for businesses of all sizes, empowering you to make a positive change without the hassle.
With Tariff.com, taking your business from carbon emitter to carbon neutral is completed across 5 phases:
Step 1: Calculating your usage
The first step towards carbon neutrality is calculating your current carbon footprint. This allows you to see exactly how your business is impacting the planet and where efficiencies need to be targeted.
A carbon footprint refers to all greenhouse gas emissions an organisation generates and releases into the atmosphere. We will help you calculate what volume of these gases your business is responsible for by collecting data from every area of the business that uses energy from electricity and recycling to employee travel.
To get an idea of how much carbon you’re currently generating, enter your annual kWh usage into our carbon tonne calculator.
Step 2: Setting targets
Armed with a clear picture of how much carbon your business is responsible for, we can begin the process of setting targets to bring this figure down.
Working with you, we’ll examine factors such as current workflows, deployment of machinery and equipment, light and heating, and vehicle usage. With a complete picture of the business outlined, we will set about developing achievable targets that lower emissions without disrupting business operations.
To aid with target setting and the proactive monitoring of emissions going forwards, IPSUM may be just the thing. As your carbon footprint is constantly evolving, the IPSUM carbon management system tracks, measures, and monitors your emissions. Using small IoT sensors connected to your energy use points, IPSUM measures how much energy is being used in your business including the when and where, and presents the data on a user-friendly dashboard, for an at-a-glance overview of your carbon footprint.
Step 3: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Next, we need to get your business away from fossil fuels and switch your supply to a renewable energy tariff. Generated from 100% natural sources that never run out, such as solar, wind or hydropower, the renewables our experts hook you up to produce zero carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions.
We understand that some businesses are reticent towards green energy, believing it to be an expensive alternative. Not only is this becoming less true every day, but by getting to know your business and its energy usage, Tariff.com will ensure that your switch to green energy makes financial sense.
Along with switching you to a green supplier, we’ll also look at ways energy can be optimised as your business could be wasting energy (and money) through the likes of poor insulation, old equipment, or wasteful practices. Our consultants will use your audit data to make practical suggestions and offer advice and support to help reduce energy waste and optimise your usage.
Step 4: Offsetting remaining emissions
As we near the end of your net-zero journey, we look to negate unavoidable emissions with carbon offsets. Offsets are produced when an organisation prevents, reduces, or removes a unit of carbon from the atmosphere as a result of its own initiatives. These offsets can then be bought by businesses like yours as a means of reducing your own carbon footprint.
Today, the process of offsetting your carbon emissions is made even easier with the availability of purchasable carbon credits. Here, a business invests in environmental projects, such as tree plantation, that capture or eliminate the equivalent carbon your business still generates. With these remaining emissions effectively ‘cancelled’, your business can finally and truly identify as carbon neutral.
Step 5: Measuring and sharing your results
By this stage, your business will either have achieved net-zero or will be rapidly nearing that coveted status. However, the journey isn’t quite over – now it’s time to share the successes you’ve worked so hard to accomplish.
Tariff.com will measure the results of the changes you’ve made from the start of your journey to the point you’re at now. We’ll then present these results to you and help you share them with your customers, both new and existing.
It is here that the business case for going green becomes apparent. Able to demonstrate that your business operates without doing any harm to the environment; customers, suppliers, clients, and investors begin to look at you very differently.
At Tariff.com, we put transparency at the heart of all our energy services. We’re not affiliated with any one energy provider so you know that the green deal we recommend really will be the best on the market.
We’ve pulled together an expert team of consultants who will advise your business on everything from energy and going carbon neutral to security and IT. The depth of our market experience and knowledge translates to compelling savings for your business.
Empower Your Business
Beyond saving your business time and money, our aim is to empower your business so it can get the most from your energy and chosen supplier. Whether that’s optimising energy usage, switching to green energy, or going carbon neutral, we’ll help you achieve your energy goals every step of the way.
At Tariff, we’ve made a firm commitment to helping businesses of all sizes and industries go net-zero ahead of the Government’s 2050 target. As one of the UK’s leading energy switch providers, we’re in the ideal position to prepare your business for the future.
Whether you’re uncertain of how net-zero policies will impact your business, or you’re seeking a more affordable solution for your business’ green energy needs, we’ll provide a bespoke package that covers everything from finding the right provider, to organising all the paperwork, to finalising that switch over.
Get in touch today to find out more about how Tariff can help your business begin its green journey.