NatWest Group has partnered with The Disruption House (TDH), a provider of risk analytics on ESG and business resilience of SMEs, to help UK-based SMEs become more sustainable.
TDH has developed an ESG assessment tool, aiming to help companies tackle climate change and future-proof their businesses. The tool enables SME owners to assess and benchmark their ESG performance quickly and for free.
The ‘ESG Starter Quiz‘ takes the form of 22 multiple-choice questions. Following completion, the business is given an ‘ESG awareness score’ on a scale of one to three stars.
According to the ESG starter quiz gateway, the scores mean as follows:
- 1 Star) ‘you’re ESG inquisitive and ready to work on a simple strategy for your company’
- 2 Stars) ‘you’re ESG aware and ready to expand your understanding and build on your current framework’
- 3 Stars) ‘you’re ready to explore and implement the many benefits a clear ESG strategy brings to you and your business’
NatWest also offers SMEs further support via links to its free carbon planning tool, more information about ESG and more. The UK bank explained that it understands the importance of having available and scalable sustainability expertise. However, expertise is rarely available for SMEs and, with ESG constantly changing, there is a need for ongoing support.
NatWest’s ‘A Springboard to Sustainable Recovery‘ report found that 30,000 new companies could be created to support the UK’s transition to net zero. The report also explains that SMEs could deliver 50 per cent of the UK’s abatement targets, should they get the right support. The action could deliver more than £160billion in climate opportunities before 2030.
Increasing need for ESG support
James Close, head of climate change at NatWest Group, explained the need for the platform. Close said: “We know many SMEs are unsure about where to start on their sustainability journey. Many don’t have the time or resources needed to understand their environmental impact.
“But with the right support, there are opportunities across all sectors of the economy for SMEs in the UK to tackle climate change and future-proof their businesses.
“Our work with TDH and the ESG Foundation to deliver the ESG Starter Quiz adds to the growing toolkit of support NatWest is providing to help SMEs focus on their long-term sustainability.
“This quiz helps customers quickly understand and take their first steps towards the transition to net zero, with the long-term aim of ESG being core to their business plans.”
Rupert Bull, CEO and founder of The Disruption House, spoke on why the platform was developed. Bull commented: “In this volatile and highly competitive market environment, speed to change is a game-changer. While the desire to become sustainable is very strong, many companies find it challenging and time-consuming. This is where TDH comes into its own.
“Our goal is to democratise access to sustainability and accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices, enabling firms to inject much-needed resilience across their businesses in a time and cost-effective way.
“As a result, we believe this unique collaboration marks a significant turning point for SMEs for both NatWest customers and non-customers alike, as access to the ESG Starter Quiz is available to all SME users, who can now reap the proven benefits of our ESG expertise and begin their own sustainability journey.”