As we enter a new year, the media coverage of the climate crisis continues to grow and the race to net zero becomes more urgent than ever. With so much happening, it can be difficult for small businesses to keep up with the constant news flow while also trying to meet their own net zero targets.
Here, SSE Energy Solutions rounds up some of the key net zero stories from the last few months to help you stay on top of the latest news and trends.
November’s COP27 summit proved to be of particular interest to businesses.
The UN’s Secretary General urged governments worldwide to put pressure on businesses to ‘move from voluntary initiatives to regulated requirements for net zero’. This heralds a new era for all businesses, large and small, as governments look set to crack down on ‘greenwashing’ and bring the full force of the law behind carbon reduction initiatives.
The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has already released its Net Zero Guidelines for policy makers worldwide and the message to businesses everywhere is loud and clear: it’s essential to take action now to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.
Supermarket giant, Tesco, piloted a scheme in the run up to Christmas aimed at radically reducing carbon emissions in their supply chain.
By partnering with 15 of their major suppliers, the supermarket chain was able to consolidate and streamline deliveries to minimise the number of journeys required. The process, developed by Tesco’s road traffic control team, identified products that would neatly fill loading gaps. As a result, the company saved 400,000 ‘truck miles’, reduced the number of journeys by 3,400 and saved 450 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. The retailer now plans to work even closer with suppliers and say they're committed to make ongoing savings.
In the latest edition of its Green Jobs Barometer, consulting firm PwC has revealed that there has been a 118% uplift in the number of ‘green jobs’ being advertised.
The barometer, which is searchable by region, also indicates that Scotland leads the way for green job opportunities although demand for professionals in this field is also increasing sharply in the South-East of England. The tool also features some interesting heat maps focusing on the wider benefits of green jobs, carbon intensity of employment and employee sentiment regarding environmental awareness in the workplace.
According to the latest edie Net-Zero Business Barometer, almost a quarter of businesses are bringing forward their carbon reduction planning due to the financial impact of the ongoing energy crisis. 24% of the businesses surveyed say they were ‘going further and faster to reduce carbon emissions’ while directly attributing this acceleration to the energy crisis. However, it’s not all good news, with 20% of businesses admitting to de-prioritising their net zero transition, while 11% say they’re likely to miss their carbon reduction targets as a result of cost squeezes.
On the positive side, 50% of businesses are installing or exploring decentralised energy generation, while 60% have actively increased energy efficiency efforts indicating that there’s nothing like a strong financial incentive to galvanise action on the road to small business sustainability.