Your net zero plan

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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
  • Brent Business Climate Charter – as part of the Brent Business Climate Charter, participating organisations can gain 6 month’s free access to Climate Essentials’ online tool to measure your energy usage and carbon emissions (first come first served).
  • 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.

These support schemes and networks are available in the East of England:

  • Business Energy Efficiency gives enterprise SMEs up to £10,000 in matching funds for energy efficiency improvements, electric vehicles and new machinery – must be located in Suffolk or Norfolk counties.
  • Net Zero Business Advisor Service – free advice for Suffolk-based businesses is provided by a team of expert and impartial advisors. Support matches the business needs and covers everything from carbon reduction plans to accessing funding, and is highlighted alongside Suffolk County Council’s Climate Change Commerical Ask.
  • The Suffolk Business Grant Scheme is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This is delivered by Babergh District Council, East Suffolk Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and West Suffolk Council. These district councils are looking to provide support to local SME businesses with grants between £5,000 and £10,000, with a maximum grant intervention of 50%. Businesses wishing to apply or for further guidance and support can contact the New Anglia Growth Hub to discuss their project or call: 0300 333 6536.
  • West Suffolk grants through the Growth Hub – grants of between £5,000 to £10,000 are being made available to SMEs in West Suffolk through the Growth Hub. The grants, which require businesses to match fund what they are applying for, are available on a first come first served basis and can be used to support businesses in their development, such as through marketing, web design or the purchase of new equipment. They are funded by West Suffolk Council, using part of the money it was allocated from Government under the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). SMEs can contact the New Anglia Growth Hub at www.newangliagrowthhub.co.uk/contact-us or by phoning 0300 333 6536.

Actions you can take right now

1) Save energy at your 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:

  1. Look at lighting, heating and refrigeration systems, as well as ventilation and water heating.
  2. Identify wasteful energy use and maintenance issues.
  3. Check at different times of day and compare day and night time use.
  4. Monitor over a period of a week for accurate average figures.
  5. Make sure equipment is checked and cleaned regularly to ensure maximum efficiency.

Improve ventilation

Routine maintenance checks and cleaning will improve the efficiency of your ventilation system.

3) Manage your waste

Recycle waste to prevent it being taken to landfill sites where it takes longer to break down and causes more emissions.

4) Get training in energy efficiency

You can train your team to be aware of energy efficiency in the workplace. Find a sustainability course.

5) 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.

6) Switch to a smart meter

This will allow you to see and control how much energy you use. Find out how to switch to a smart meter.

Longer term actions

1) Make changes to your workplace

If you are the legal owner, there are a number of long-term measures you can take to improve energy efficiency.

Check planning permission guidelines before you go ahead with any structural changes to the property.

You can make long-term savings on energy bills by insulating buildings and replacing old windows.

Install renewables

You might also consider installing renewable sources of energy on your land.

For example:

By doing so, you could make significant long-term savings on energy bills.

2) Reduce transport emissions

Over a quarter 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.

Visit our page on switching employee mode of transport for guidance.

Electric vehicles

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.

Indirect emissions

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

Find out more information on how to source products and services from green suppliers.

2) Reduce emissions ‘downstream’ of your business

  1. make products that take less energy to make, transport and operate
  2. reduce water consumption and waste disposal needs
  3. make investments in lower carbon financial products
  4. give incentives for lower emission activities in leased assets or franchises

3) Certify your supply chain action with PAS 2060

PAS 2060 is the internationally recognised standard that recognises your efforts towards carbon neutrality.

The standard process for PAS 2060 certification includes these steps:

  1. Measure greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) based on accurate data.
  2. Reduce of emissions through a carbon management plan.
  3. 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.

Search on Google for PAS 2060 certification organisations.

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

Find out more about how to track and share your progress.