With GOV.UK increasing their push to achieve a net zero economy by 2050, we look at what becoming a net-zero company actually means. A lot of people are under the impression that it is up to the big corporate machines to reduce their carbon footprint in order for any of us to notice change, but the reality is that small and medium sized businesses are the major source of emissions in the UK. In this article, we explore the benefits of becoming net zero and how to go about doing it.
So, why would a company want to become net zero? A company (particularly start ups or SME’s) which is, or aiming to be, net zero allows their company to access many benefits, from improving your business reputation, reducing business costs, to increasing your chance of beating competitors, plus more.
Read on to find out the benefits to becoming a net zero company with Boxfish.
For a company to be net-zero, it means that they are balancing the carbon dioxide resulting from the day-to-day activities of the business to zero. It’s important to note that net-zero doesn’t mean you don’t emit carbon (in today’s increasingly complex world, that would be impossible), it just means that what you do put into the atmosphere, is offset by measures that are designed to remove an equivalent amount giving a ‘net-zero position.
By becoming a net zero company, you are not only helping the planet, but will be positioning yourselves to unlock significant benefits that can turbo-charge growth and success across the business – these benefits include an improved bottom line, enhanced reputation, a more sustainable and resilient future, and the ability to attract and retain new staff and customers.
Read on to learn why net zero businesses are already winning.
Research from The Carbon Trust has found that all customers expect companies to make ethical decisions when it comes to helping reduce climate change, but this becomes even more important for younger demographics (research suggests that millennials rank a company’s environmental credentials third behind price and design when making buying decisions).
Prioritising sustainability is therefore a great tactic for businesses in almost every sector to help attract new customers and retain existing ones.
Have you seen ‘going green’ business strategies from any organisations?
It’s actually common to see new start-up businesses using their eco-friendly credentials as a unique selling point, because they know it creates good traction. Websites which include FAQ’s often include some sort of eco-friendly questions, which shows what the public wants to know about a product or service.
Take Nala’s Baby as an example. A newly founded company which mentions recyclable and vegan products on their homepage. They’ve developed their website to provide answers to their customers’ questions around topics like sustainable packaging questions in their FAQ’s.
Another example would be tree planting schemes which have become widely popular. Enterprise Rent-a-Car is one of the many businesses in the UK who are involved with their Executive Chairman talking about how a healthy planet is important to us all – another example of improving their business reputation by allowing consumers to see how the chairman of a company is taking steps to help improve the environment.
If you’re thinking you understand how a net zero company can improve your reputation, there is also a lot of useful information out there to help with ideas on how to become a ‘green business’.
Becoming a net zero business can reduce your business costs. The cheapest unit of energy is always the one you don’t have to buy so targeting measures that can help reduce the amount of energy you consume, not only helps improve your bottom line, but also eliminates the associated emissions of carbon.
What’s more, by swapping your energy to renewable sources such as on-site solar panels, means you would get even cheaper energy (on-site generation is typically around a third cheaper than grid purchased energy) and a massive reduction in the carbon intensity of the energy you do need to consume too.
An alternative would be to switch to a green tariff with your energy provider as that would get you the carbon saving but it would come at a slight cost premium over regular brown energy contracts.
For further information on how you can reduce energy consumption in the office, you can read our blog which gives you useful information.
Becoming a net zero business may be appealing for potential investors and shareholders. Here’s why:
A recent British Chambers of Commerce survey concluded that only 11% of companies have measured the carbon footprint of their business, so there is major room for improvement. The study continues to suggest that knowing your carbon footprint and reducing it could give you a competitive advantage over other businesses. The reason being is that some customers are increasingly interested in a businesses’ sustainability credentials. Customers tend to look into this by analysing the packaging of products, or the carbon footprint of the product.
Having a transparent relationship with your customers and potential customers may help them recognise your reliability and it could make them more likely to return to your product or service, knowing that your company is helping in some way.
In the world of sustainability, this headline produced by GOV UK is huge for our nation. The UK’s Race to Zero campaign introduced by the Government has seen lots of positive responses from well known organisations.
Well known organisations who are contributing to this statistic:
Committing to becoming Net Zero as we know comes with changing certain operations. With big commitments being made, the steps taken need to be thorough and consistent, not only to help improve the planet, but to also show customers their services are worth returning for, because they are sustainable.
So now these companies are committing to net zero, will you?
There are some basic steps which any businesses can follow, to make the move to becoming net zero. For small businesses in particular, these following steps are really helpful:
||You can introduce paper, plastic and other material recycling bins to help to reduce waste and lessen the impact on the environment.|
||You can limit the amount of waste you generate as a business, so there is less waste ending up in landfills.|
||You put a net zero plan in place, consult, and make your staff aware of the new policy, and reward your green achievements internally and also promote them externally.|
||Switching to renewable energy will lower your carbon emissions in general.|
||Encouraging people in your company to walk, cycle or use public transport and also go a step further by using low-emission company cars can reduce impact on the environment and save your business money.|
||Try to use recyclable materials wherever possible to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills.|