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Net Zero – Together for our Planet

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In 2019, the UK became the first major nation to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. Since then, the climate crisis has continued to climb up the agenda, and the UK Government has published a large number of policies and guidance documents to help all parts of society play its part in helping to meet this significant challenge.

More and more businesses from across the UK and beyond realise the need to commit to reducing emissions of carbon into the atmosphere. The recent hike in the cost of energy has further focussed minds on the need for greater energy security and efficiency. In the Marches, we recognise that this will require a fundamental transformation of every part of the economy. Some of these changes will be visible, such as more renewable energy and electric vehicles, but most will happen behind the scenes in the way organisations, businesses and individuals operate and manage their relationships.

Businesses of all sizes have a vital role to play; they will face new responsibilities and risks, but also new opportunities to grow and benefit from greener and more efficient ways of working. Whatever size your business or industry you’re in, your involvement could make a real difference – to your business, to your customers, to your community, to the planet – and to your energy bills!

To support Businesses with these changes the UK Government has partnered with business owners, LEPs, local authorities and respected climate groups from across the UK to cut carbon emissions and protect the planet. As SMEs are responsible for nearly half the UK’s business-related emissions, it is essential that they are fully engaged and helped to reduce their environmental impact. A dedicated website for SMEs has been set-up by the Government (https://smeclimatehub.org/), which aims to provide a “one-stop-shop” to help SMEs make a commitment to help tackle climate change. The Climate Hub has lots of resources and tools to help you reduce your carbon footprint including tools on:

  • Reducing Your Own Emissions
  • Reducing Value Chain Emissions
  • Strategy & Governance
  • Influence Change

Top reasons to cut carbon emissions:

Grow your business

It can be hard to think as far as 2030 when we’re all building back from coronavirus and dealing with sky-rocketing energy bills. But cutting emissions can mean saving money and give you a competitive advantage today. Showing your commitment to reducing emissions can also help to attract the growing number of customers for whom climate change really matters.

Future-proof your business

The UK is already changing. For example, by 2030 you won’t be able to buy new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK, while zero-emission vehicles could support 40,000 jobs. Getting ahead of other countries will create new opportunities here in the UK.

Be part of the solution

We all want to create a better planet, but it can be hard to know where to start. Through this commitment, join other businesses, get tips, make a plan, and be confident that you are really making a difference.

Why now?

Energy prices and domestic energy security have rarely been more in the news. The recent increase in energy bills has been driven by a record rise in global gas prices – the wholesale price of gas on the European market has increased by 500% in recent months. This increase will impact all areas of the economy, so it is important that we take steps to insulate ourselves wherever possible.  

So How?

Going greener is likely to look different for every business, but there are steps you can take whether you’re just starting out or further along the road to zero emissions. The first step should always be to educate yourself on why a change would be good for your business, how to start your journey and where to use measures to engage employees and customers.

The number of funding opportunities available to businesses is increasing. The UK government website is often a good place to look for funding opportunities. For innovation projects, the UKRI website is also a very useful starting point. You can also use the new Marches LEP Government Funding Tracker as an interactive service to help keep you informed of latest Government funding announcements.

The number of commercial options available to help fund and support SME on the journey to net-zero are also increasing. The British Business Bank is leading on improving access to finance and support for smaller businesses, whilst Lloyds bank and NatWest also provide specific net-zero information and financing to SMEs. Other organisations such as the Carbon Trust and the Energy Saving Trust also provide a range of tools and support.

Locally, we are working closely with partners from across the region to provide help and support.  The three local authorities all have specific support programmes, which may also be useful:

Herefordshire

Shropshire

Telford & Wrekin

The Marches region is supported by the Midlands Net Zero Hub to help deliver the Marches Energy Strategy and help meet the region’s net-zero ambitions.

Contact us about Net Zero – Together for our Planet

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Herefordshire

01432 383343

Shropshire

01743 250526

Telford & Wrekin

01952 567589

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