Tool launched

Net zero help as only 9% of SMEs have a plan

Alok Sharma
Action ‘must follow COP26 commitments’

Scottish Enterprise is to help companies accelerate their net zero targets after research showed fewer than one in ten SMEs has a plan for measuring their carbon output.

The agency is promoting a free online Net Zero Accelerator tool which helps companies analyse the impact of their operations on the environment and make the necessary changes.

According to the Office for National Statistics only 23% of companies with 250+ employees have a climate change strategy in place, while figures from the British Business Bank highlight that only 9% of SMEs in the UK are measuring their carbon footprint.

A more positive trend in research from the Fraser of Allander Institute shows that 59% of Scottish businesses have either committed to, or achieved, net zero targets, slightly ahead of the rest of the UK at around 57%.

Companies which Scottish Enterprise supports have plans to go greener in response to demand from consumers as well as attracting staff and government support available to sustainable initiatives.

The fluctuating cost of energy is also a concern for business leaders and the Net Zero Accelerator tool includes the use of resources in the mix to guide businesses on ways to reduce those costs.

Ian Carstairs sustainability team leader at Scottish Enterprise said: “Scotland hosted COP26 in Glasgow last year but we need to maintain the momentum and encourage action to further the economic and ecological advantage for Scotland.

“We are supporting more businesses to reduce their environmental impact and have made great progress with a quarter of our projects in 2021/22 equating to over 3,250 green jobs and delivering a reduction of over 280,000 tonnes of Co2.”

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