These support schemes and networks are available in Greater London:
- Better Futures+ provides up to £1,000 in free business support for London-based businesses with at least two full-time employees and turnover between £100,000 and £43M
- Greater London Fund invests in early stage companies with an average investment of £400,000 to £1M – part of the fund is set aside for companies that reduce waste
- Greater London Investment Fund offers loans from £100,000 to £1M to limited company SMEs – repayment term is 3 to 5 years and interest rates vary
- Heart of the City helps SMEs with the fundamentals of net zero, measuring carbon footprints, setting targets and disclosing progress. They have a free climate action toolkit, and in-depth course that’s free if you have less than 250 based in, or with more than 50% of your operations in the Square Mile, or you’re an SME supplier or tenant of the City of London Corporation
- Climate Essentials for Business – Climate Essentials has partnered with Westminster Council to offer free tools and support to help businesses’ reduce their carbon footprint. The programme includes access to a carbon calculator, a customised reduction strategy, 1:1 support from Climate Essentials’ expert team, and detailed reports outlining emissions and progress. This support is available for Westminster-based businesses with fewer than 250 employees, turnover less than £36m, and a total balance sheet less than £18m.
Actions you can take right now
1) Save energy in the home, office or workplace
Cut your bills by using less energy. Quick measures include:
- lighting – use LED bulbs for greater efficiency
- heating – put your thermostat on a timer and seal your windows for extra insulation
- office equipment – try to turn off and unplug devices when they’re not being used
2) Do an energy walk-round
Walk around your building and see where energy is being used.
Prepare a checklist
Look out for wasteful energy use and maintenance issues in the following areas:
- Look at lighting, heating and refrigeration systems, as well as ventilation and water heating.
- Identify wasteful energy use and maintenance issues.
- Check at different times of day and compare day and night time use.
- Monitor over a period of a week for accurate average figures.
- Make sure equipment is checked and cleaned regularly to ensure maximum efficiency.
Routine maintenance checks and cleaning will improve the efficiency of your ventilation system.
3) Change your energy tariff
Switch to a green energy tariff with your energy supplier. This will reduce your reliance on energy produced by fossil fuels.
4) Switch to a smart meter
This will allow you to see and control how much energy you use. Find out more about smart meters.
5) Manage your waste
Recycle waste to prevent it being taken to landfill sites where it takes longer to break down and causes more emissions.
6) Get training in energy efficiency
You can train your team to be aware of energy efficiency in the workplace. Find a sustainability training course.
Longer term actions
1) Make changes to your home, office or workplace
If you are the legal owner, there are a number of long-term measures you can take to improve energy efficiency at your work buildings.
Check planning permissions guidelines before you go ahead with any structural changes.
Improve insulation and windows
You can make long-term savings on energy bills by insulating buildings and replacing old windows.
You might also consider installing renewable sources of energy on your land.
By doing so, you could make significant long-term savings on energy bills.
2) Reduce transport emissions
Over 25% of the UK’s carbon emissions are caused by transport. You can take measures to reduce the impact.
If you have employees you could introduce a cycle-to-work initiative or encourage them to take public transport.
If you use a work vehicle, you can reduce emissions by switching over to an electric vehicle (EV). You would be exempt from road tax, congestion charges and parking fees in certain areas.
For easy overnight charging you could install EV chargers at your home or workplace. Visit our page to find out more about installing chargegpoints.
To reduce indirect or ‘supply chain’ emissions you need to consider what happens before and after your business provides a service or makes a product.
1) Choose greener ‘upstream’ suppliers and products
- use suppliers that measure and reduce carbon
- help your suppliers with carbon reduction projects
- buy products that take less energy to make, transport and operate
2) Reduce emissions ‘downstream’ of your business
- make products that take less energy to make, transport and operate
- reduce water consumption and waste disposal needs
- make investments in lower carbon financial products
- give incentives for lower emission activities in leased assets or franchises
3) Certify your supply chain action with PAS 2060
The standard process for PAS 2060 certification includes these steps:
- Measure greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) based on accurate data.
- Reduce of emissions through a carbon management plan.
- Document and verify through qualifying explanatory statements and make a public disclosure.
Through independent British Standards Institution (BSI) verification for PAS 2060, your business can demonstrate that it has met these requirements. You can show your business is environmentally friendly and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, while enhancing your organisation’s performance and resilience.
Share your progress
Sharing your progress will help employees and customers feel confident that you’re reducing carbon and moving towards net zero.
You should share your progress once you’ve done both of the following:
- worked out a benchmark of emissions
- started to take action