76% of Small Businesses Behind on Carbon Emissions Target

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76% of Small Businesses Behind on Carbon Emissions Target

Small businesses are accountable for over half of all carbon emissions put out by UK businesses, and a third of the total UK emissions. 

Around 76% of small businesses haven’t acted on reducing their carbon emissions, despite the government’s net-zero target.

This is even though small businesses create half of greenhouse gas emissions generated by UK businesses and around a third of all UK emissions, including household, industry, and government.

In a survey by the state-owned British Business Bank, it was revealed that only 3 per cent of small businesses have measured their carbon footprint within the last 5 years and have consequently reduced their emissions target.  

Over half of the businesses that completed the survey said they were unable to prioritise going carbon neutral.

However, 94 per cent of small businesses have reported they have completed at least one action to reduce their carbon emissions. Although, according to the report, these actions tended to be low-effort actions, such as using a smart meter.

The survey has shown that persuading small businesses to reduce their carbon footprint will be a huge challenge.

NatWest also recently completed a report and discovered that small and medium-sized businesses had the potential to meet half of the UK’s decarbonisation goal, “if they receive the right support through funding, knowledge, and training”.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Bank commented: “More than half of smaller businesses say they’re not ready to prioritise decarbonisation, so clearly more needs to be done.”

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “Small businesses need to be front and centre in our national effort to reduce emissions.”

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