With a third of UK businesses admitting to not having started any journey to reduce emissions, a whopping 70% of businesses say that additional government incentives and/or penalties regarding sustainability would speed up their business’s journey to net zero. This is according to new research for Earth Day conducted by the world’s most sustainable printing and media business, Seacourt.
As Managing Director, Gareth Dinnage, calls on businesses to become ethical procurers this Earth Day, the planet-positive company decided to take a business snapshot across the nation to ascertain how far businesses were on the journey to net zero, if policies were in place and being implemented, and if net-zero targets were going to be met. Small businesses often have relatively low emission footprints at an individual level, but it is estimated that collectively they account for around half (43-53%) of UK business greenhouse gas emissions, and so plans need to be in place for ALL UK businesses to reduce emissions. The results show that a large portion of British businesses are trailing behind at the starting block when it comes to meeting reduction targets.
The research showed that although two-thirds have created plans to reduce emissions, worryingly only 33% of businesses are actually implementing these plans, with a third of UK businesses admitting to not even starting the planning towards net-zero.
Dinnage comments saying:
“We need the Government to provide incentives and penalties to make sure all UK businesses are on the journey. With only eight years to go before our first national target, we do not have time to leave businesses behind in this process.”
The research also revealed that almost half of UK businesses viewed sustainability as a cost and not an investment.
“It is for this reason that the Government needs to provide wide-spread incentives for emission reductions such as a green tax relief for businesses who measure and annually reduce their emissions. Currently initiatives are per sector and turned on and off too quickly for actual change. For instance, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) which ends this April, before large scale EV pick up has even occurred.”
With targets to cut 68% of emissions by 2030, businesses across the country need to be developing ways to reduce their carbon footprint. In the Seacourt research, it was uncovered that one in five businesses have no plans to start a ‘net-zero journey’ in the near future.
“We are calling on businesses to start the journey now! It took us 26 years to become planet-positive in terms of our carbon footprint. It starts with small steps, such as switching to renewable energy and switching out suppliers who have ways to reduce environmental impact.”