Ian Mean column about Net Zero target for businesses

NET Zero rightly dominates the government’s thinking on future policy but it is facing a big challenge.

This is because, nationally, fewer than one in ten SMEs-the small companies that drive Gloucestershire’s economy-don’t fully understand what the government’s 2050 Net Zero means to them.

This is the worrying conclusion of a recent survey by the British Chambers of Commerce of which Business West is one of its largest members.

They surveyed more than 1,000 businesses of which 96 per cent were SMEs and found that nine out of ten didn’t fully understand of what the Government’s target of making the UK Net Zero by 2050 means to them.

And Business West’s own quarterly economic survey in this region backs up that BCC national survey.

Here in the West, our survey showed 71 per cent of businesses considered climate change as important but only 22% had calculated their carbon footprint while only 22% had a carbon reduction plan.

I echo the thoughts of Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC when she says: “The cost of living crisis means many smaller firms are focussed on keeping their heads above water.

“But if the UK is to stand a chance of hitting its 2050 Net Zero target, then businesses must be put at the heart of the strategy to do that”.

Here at Business West, we are running Net Zero workshops-four hours online, which offers carbon literacy training, building a carbon footprint and a carbon reduction plan.

The next workshop is on March 15 and registration details are on at bit. ly/3kbFhfU

Our Net Zero team are also running a Lunch and Learn series-a one hour seminar with three speakers featuring different Net Zero topics.

The next one is on April 25 and more details can be found at bit. ly/3kc5cUI

I think that the Government must now start to look at incentives for more businesses to warm up to Net Zero.

And the March 15 Budget is the time to give that encouragement to companies.

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