Other services

Your UK Business Climate Hub net zero plan for other service sectors.

Service sectors can make significant strides towards achieving net zero emissions by implementing a variety of sustainability measures. These may include improving energy efficiency through building retrofits, transitioning to renewable energy sources, reducing waste through recycling and composting, implementing sustainable transportation options for employees, and engaging in sustainable procurement practices.

By taking action to reduce their carbon footprint, companies can not only contribute to global efforts to combat climate change but also potentially save on energy costs and boost their reputation as socially responsible businesses.

Contents

  1. Understand your business emissions
  2. Get finance and support
  3. Actions you can take right now
  4. Longer term actions
  5. Indirect emissions
  6. Share your progress

Understand your business emissions

1) What causes emissions

Direct carbon emissions produced by businesses:

  • energy use – electricity and gas for lighting, heating, office equipment and machinery
  • general waste – when it is not recycled and ends up at landfill sites
  • transport – using petrol or diesel vehicles to deliver services or goods

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) Get help and advice 

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

2) Get financial support

Actions you can take right now

1) Save energy at your workplace

Quick low-cost actions 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) 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.

3) Switch to a smart meter

This will allow you to see and control how much energy you use. Find out more about smart meters.

4) Manage your waste

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

5) Get training in energy efficiency

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

Longer term actions

1) Make changes to your workplace

You can take a number of long-term measures to improve energy efficiency at your workplace.

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.

For example:

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 emissions from freight and logistics.

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.

Visit our page to find out more about installing chargepoints.

3) Use sustainable product packaging

Replace plastic with recycled 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 about how to source products and services from green suppliers.

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

PAS 2060 is the internationally applicable specification to demonstrate carbon neutrality.

PAS 2060 certification can enhance your business’s performance and resilience and demonstrate your commitment to sustainability in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The standard process for PAS 2060 certification includes these steps:

  1. Assessment of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) based on accurate measurement data.
  2. Reduction of emissions through a target-driven carbon management plan.
  3. Documentation and verification through qualifying explanatory statements and public disclosure.

Through independent British Standards Institution (BSI) verification for PAS 2060, your business can demonstrate that it has met these requirements.

Search on Google for organisations that provide PAS 2060 verification.

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