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How to reduce the carbon footprint of your business

Tools & Resources

Key learnings

  • The government’s Net Zero Strategy requires all sectors of the UK economy to decarbonise by 2050. 
  • Net zero means achieving a balance between human-related carbon dioxide (CO2) or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their removal from the atmosphere. 
  • Switching to a green energy provider or moving to a renewable electricity tariff can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.   

The government’s Net Zero Strategy requires all sectors of the UK economy to decarbonise by 2050. But what does that mean for your business and how will you get there? Here, we explain how to reduce the carbon footprint of your business, commit to net zero and support global efforts to tackle climate change and protect the environment for future generations.  

Almost every developed country in the world has committed itself to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in order to limit the impact of global warming and get climate change under control.  

The UK Government's Net Zero Strategy sets out in law how CO2 emissions will be reduced across the economy and how every sector will be supported to decarbonise. 

This means it’s more important than ever for businesses to get on board with net zero and put plans in place to reduce their carbon footprint.  

But what does net zero mean and how can your business get there? 

Simply put, achieving net zero means achieving a balance between human-related carbon dioxide (CO2) or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their removal from the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most common GHG that a business produces, which is why so much attention is focused on decarbonising business and industry.   

Businesses produce CO2 in many different ways, from the energy that powers their offices and infrastructure to the cars their staff drive and the way they dispose of their waste.  

Understanding the carbon footprint of your business is the first step towards doing something about it.  

1

Measuring your carbon footprint

It is often said that what gets measured gets managed, which is why measuring your carbon emissions is so important. 

There are many tools out there for measuring the carbon footprint of you and your business.  

Here are some of the best tools to use.  

2

Reducing your carbon footprint

Once you’ve got an idea of the parts of your business that are producing the most CO2 and started measuring your emissions, you will be in a much better place to start making reductions and get on the path to net zero.   

Here are our top tips for reducing your company's carbon impact: 

  • Clean up your energy supplier: Switching to a green energy provider or moving to a renewable electricity tariff can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. 
  • Invest in a new heating system: Replacing a gas boiler with either an air source or ground source heat pump means you can heat your office with electricity rather than burning natural gas.  
  • Install solar panels: Putting solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of your building means you can generate carbon free electricity stored in a battery on site.  
  • Switch to electric vehicles: Switching your fleet vehicles to EVs and introducing EV salary sacrifice schemes for staff helps to reduce your travel carbon footprint.  
  • Make efficiency savings: Installing things like LED lighting and smart heating controls means you can actively reduce both costs and carbon.  
  • Choose green suppliers: Encouraging your supply chain to implement carbon cutting measures and switching to those who are making net zero commitments reduces your indirect emissions. 
  • Tell staff and customers to act: Using your influence to inspire others to take action is a powerful tool for combating emissions. 
3

Committing to net zero

Making a net zero commitment requires you to have a deep understanding of how much CO2 your business is producing today and setting out a clear plan for how you will reduce that amount to zero by 2050.  

The 2050 date is important because scientists believe we must achieve a carbon neutral world by the middle of the century if we are going to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.  

While 2050 might seem a long time away, the vast majority of the investment and innovation required to bring about a low carbon economy is going to have to happen a long time before that.  

Government is also introducing legislation at pace to make sure that businesses make changes to the way they operate today to keep the net zero by 2050 target alive.  

This means that as a business, you really can’t afford not to commit to net zero.  

One of the easiest ways to make a commitment is to join the UN Race to Zero campaign, which has mobilised a coalition of leading businesses, investors and higher education institutions to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonised economy.  

Next steps...

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