Your net zero plan

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Understand your business emissions

1) What causes emissions

Direct carbon emissions produced by the fishing industry:

  • refrigeration of goods
  • lighting and heating in buildings
  • pumping water and aeration on fish farms
  • bottom trawling – releases carbon from seabed sediment into the water
  • general waste – when it isn’t recycled and ends up at landfill sites
  • transport – using fishing vessels and vehicles which run on petrol or diesel

2) Calculate your emissions

Use a free carbon calculator to work out your business’s carbon footprint. This is measured in tonnes, over a year.

3) Estimate the cost of your emissions

Once you have your carbon footprint, you can calculate how much your emissions are costing you. This will give you an idea of potential savings you can make by taking action.

4) Sign up to the SME climate commitment

Make a climate declaration to show customers you are committed to reducing emissions.

Get finance and support

1) Support in your sector

Grants are available from the UK Seafood Fund and the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme.

You can learn how to run your business in a more environmentally friendly way by hiring a sustainability consultant.

2) Finance for your region:

These support schemes and networks are available in North West England:

  • Chamber Low Carbon gives SMEs free ‘1-2-1’ consulting to improve energy efficiency and develop low carbon products. Must be based in Lancashire.
  • Cheshire West’s UKSPF Business Support Programme is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council and 4 delivery partners. The ‘Let’s Talk Business’ programme aims to support Cheshire West and Chester businesses to increase productivity by creating the conditions for businesses to start-up, scale-up and innovate and building a stronger business base. The UKSPF Business Support Programme is a mix of support activities, 121 guidance and grants for eligible businesses.
  • Cumberland Council Rural England Prosperity Funding funds capital projects for small businesses (micro and small). Beneficiaries must be located within the areas covered by the previous Allerdale, Carlisle (excluding Carlisle city) and Copeland Council areas.
  • Eco-I North West offers SMEs R&D funding, capital grants and collaboration with universities to help transition to a low carbon economy – must be located in Cumbria, Lancashire, Liverpool City Region, Cheshire & Warrington or Greater Manchester
  • GC Business Growth Hub provides fully funded resource efficiency support to SMEs located in Greater Manchester – includes a virtual Journey to Net Zero programme for SMEs that are at an early stage on their path to net zero emissions
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority UKSPF funding has been allocated to:
    • Cost of living support for businesses: £0.5m was allocated to provide support for Greater Manchester businesses dealing with the increased cost of doing business over winter 2022-23.
    • Core business support: £7.5m was allocated by UKSPF Partnership Board and GMCA in March 2023 to commission a core programme of business support for GM’s diverse business base, running from June 2022 to March 2025.
    • Build a Business: £1.4m is proposed to be allocated to fund hyper-local micro-business start-up and development support, similar to that already funded via ERDF.
    • Reducing inequalities: £0.5m is proposed to be allocated to fund experimental business support, enabling a test and learn approach around specific issues affecting Greater Manchester’s businesses. This programme is in the early stages and a Call for Evidence to key stakeholders is underway.

Actions you can take right now

1) Save energy at your work building or office

Quick, low-cost 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

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.

Learn more about reducing emissions caused by refrigeration. 

Improve ventilation

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) Improving energy efficiency on fishing vessels

If you own a fishing vessel there are a number of measures you can take to reduce emissions:

  • reduce the speed of your vessel
  • fit an exhaust-gas cleaning system
  • use control systems for the efficiency of on-board machinery
  • install energy-efficient technology such as propulsion devices or contra-rotating propellers

2) Making changes to your work buildings

You can take a number of long-term measures 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.

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.

3) Reduce transport emissions

Over a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions are caused by transport. Visit our page to find out about how to reduce emissions from freight and logistics.

If you have employees you could introduce a cycle-to-work initiative or encourage them to take public transport.

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. Visit our page to find out more about installing chargegpoints.

Transporting refrigerated goods

Learn how to reduce emissions when transporting refrigerated goods.

4) Use sustainable product packaging

Replace plastic with recyclable or compostable substitutes.

Types of sustainable packing include:

  • plant-based packaging
  • edible packaging – made from seaweed extract
  • compostable and biodegradable plastic alternatives
  • plantable packaging – which is made from seeds and can be buried in soil

Find sustainable packaging companies

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.

Take part in the UK Net Zero Business Census
Take part in the UK Net Zero Business Census