In addition to further steps from government to turn ambition into action – read the CBI’s own 10-point plan – achieving net-zero will require businesses of every size to make real changes. Action is required not only from multi-national firms with thousands of employees, but also SMEs with five.
The CBI is actively supporting SMEs on their journey to net-zero in the following ways:
Practical guidance on tracking and reducing carbon footprints
The first fundamental step for an SME to take meaningful climate action is understanding their carbon footprint. This is why the CBI has produced a practical guide on how firms can get started on their road to net-zero.
It provides tips and real life examples to help SMEs track and reduce their carbon footprint. This includes an explanation of what a carbon footprint is, what to consider when tracking and reducing emissions, and lessons from how other organisations have approached reducing their carbon footprint.
Encouraging SMEs to pledge to achieving net-zero and learn from other businesses is vital for UK emissions reduction
Alongside helping SMEs understand their carbon footprint, the CBI is actively encouraging more firms to sign up to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign. It is vital that firms of all sizes, not only large corporates, signal a robust commitment to achieve net-zero by 2050 at the latest. This is a journey the whole economy needs to participate in for the UK to achieve this goal.
Sharing business to business insight on practical action taken is vital in supporting SMEs to meet this pledge. That is why the CBI has collaborated with Deloitte, A4S, Chapter Zero, the Met Office and Dell Technologies to develop the Goal 13 Impact Platform. This open access platform allows SMEs to share their own insights and learn from others in setting climate targets and commitments. Firms can filter findings to specially learn from other SMEs, including firms with 0 - 9, 10 - 49 or 50 - 249 employees.
Supporting SMEs in the run up to COP26 and beyond
In June, the CBI brought more than 1000 business leaders together to discuss the role of businesses, including SMEs, in achieving the UK’s 2050 net-zero target via its Road to Net Zero Conference. CBI members can go back and watch the conference in full, with the key note addresses available for all to view via YouTube.
The CBI will be active on the ground in Glasgow throughout COP26, with a variety of opportunities for SMEs and other business organisations to collaborate. This includes a gala dinner and drinks reception, alongside a series of policy hustings. For more information contact Tracy Black.
In terms of next steps, look out for further practical guidance from the CBI to support SMEs on their journey to Net Zero this autumn. This includes a thought leadership factsheet to help SME’s get started on their ESG and sustainable finance journey. Also, more in-depth guidance to help firms understand the different scopes of emissions (one to three) and disclosure requirements behind them.
For more information and opportunities to collaborate with the CBI on decarbonisation, please contact Tania Kumar.