The business case for lowering your carbon emissions and getting on the road to net zero as quickly as possible is compelling.
The legally binding commitment to reach net zero is going to require wholesale changes in our approach to business. Just like the digital revolution in the 2000s, it will transform almost everything we do.
Starting your journey is essential if you want to keep your business relevant in the 21st century and not getting left behind. And the quicker you get into gear, the easier it will be.
Net Zero Business benefit #1: Your reputation
Net zero is enshrined in law. There is no way it’s not happening. As the public learns more about the climate emergency, people will be less willing to use businesses that ignore their responsibilities.
In the same way a company with a dated website and poor online presence looks like a digital dinosaur, a company doing nothing towards reducing emissions will look like a sustainability dinosaur.
A 2020 Deloitte report shows that consumers are embracing sustainability. With each year that passes, the tide will only grow stronger.
Net Zero Business benefit #2: Your bottom line
Reaching net zero isn’t just essential for the environment, it can also drive up profits.
A lot of what needs doing is about reducing waste, including energy, materials, and water. More efficient use of resources usually means less cost to your business operations.
Net Zero Business benefit #3: Investment and financial opportunities
There are a lot of grants and other funding opportunities focused on green business. If you’re committed to net zero, you’re more likely to be eligible.
Funding such as LoCASE supports low carbon businesses with business development funding, and any type of business with energy efficiency funding. LoCASE is delivered in the south and east of England, but there are similar funding programmes across the UK.
Investors are increasingly paying attention to environmental sustainability policies when deciding which ventures to support. A clear roadmap to net zero is a key indicator of the long-term potential of your business.
Net Zero Business benefit #4: Attract the best talent
Most people want to work for an employer that aligns with their beliefs and do meaningful work that they feel proud to be part of.
Employers that have a clear commitment to sustainability will be attractive to job seekers. It will be easier to attract better talent, and motivate and engage existing employees.
Net Zero Business Benefit #5: Not getting caught out
Net zero is part of UK law. Policy and legislation will only go in one direction, as the country ramps up its mission to drive down emissions.
Getting on board early means you’ll be ready when new legislation comes in. It will be easier and cheaper to adapt. Late-adopters will find they have to change the way they operate more abruptly, which will likely cost more and cause more disruption.
Net Zero Business Benefit #6: Future generations are relying on us
As a business, the power you have is huge.
SMEs make up 99.9% of the business population in the UK. You provide the jobs, the services, and the products that the economy is built on.
Never think you’re too small to make a difference. If we all work collectively, we can solve the climate emergency.
If we don’t ramp up the transition to net zero quickly, we’ll have lost the opportunity to stope the effects of climate change. Doing nothing is not an option. At current emissions levels, the Met Office predicts we could hit 4°C warming by 2060. That means within our children’s lifetimes we could see coastal cities flooded, crop failures, and extreme and frequent heatwaves.
What can you do now to get your business on the road to net zero?
The key – wherever you are on your journey – is to keep doing. Even the small things add up.
Our Net Zero 360 offer is the UK’s first full-service net zero package. It can support you from start to finish on your net zero journey.
It includes a 3-part workshop series, a carbon footprint calculator and the opportunity to work with one of our university hubs if you need innovation and R&D to reduce your emissions.