The UK government has launched the new ‘UK Business Climate Hub’, to help businesses to reduce their energy bills, cut their carbon emissions and provide access to new advice.
The UK Business Climate Hub includes a free carbon calculator, alongside a suite of new tools to help businesses measure, track and report on their emissions and save money by using less energy.
By offering detailed advice on sourcing products from green suppliers; reducing emissions from freight and logistics; as well as explaining the most cost-effective ways of installing solar panels and electric vehicle (EV) charging points, the hub looks to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) do their bit to tackle climate change.
As per a government release, the new support is aimed at 5.5 million SMEs in the UK, with business and industry accounting for around 25 per cent of emissions. Research shows that around 90 per cent of SMEs are keen to tackle climate change, but find it difficult to know how or where to start to find the right solutions to reduce their carbon footprint.
Studies are also showing 85 per cent of consumers are more likely to buy from a business with a reputation for sustainability. By going green, businesses could attract more customers and enhance income.
Laimonas Noreika, CEO of agricultural loan marketplace HeavyFinance, commented: “This hub will play a crucial role in enabling Britain’s businesses to take meaningful action against the climate change emergency.
“Far too many SMEs are keen to go green but lack the practical advice and financial support to make it happen. From office blocks, to farmyards, company owners across all industries are in urgent need of guidance to cut carbon emissions and build a cleaner, greener business.
“This new scheme is a step in the right direction and will help business owners across the country to develop long-term sustainable strategies that will assist the UK in its journey towards net zero.”
The new hub’s “invaluable guidance” to “empower entrepreneurs”
The UK Business Climate Hub is aimed at businesses which have made no changes so far, as well as those who are already taking action to reduce emissions but want to take things to the next level. As well as helping bosses measure and report on their emissions, the site provides advice and support on an array of things, including:
- switching employee modes of transport and paying less for company EVs
- getting business grants, green loans and financing for a retrofit
- getting an air source heat pump
- generating green energy with a wind turbine and selling it back to the grid
- reducing emissions from farming and land use
- buying credible carbon offsets
- getting low-carbon product labels and certifications
Steven Mooney, CEO of startup fundraising firm FundMyPitch, also discussed the hub: “One of the biggest barriers to SMEs cutting emissions is cost, with many struggling to find a credible strategy to go green without breaking the bank.
“At a time when interest rates are surging and inflation remains stubbornly high, this new hub offers invaluable guidance to empower entrepreneurs to build a truly effective green strategy.
“The vast majority of company owners will always go the extra mile to build responsible, environmentally friendly businesses, but they also need access to finance and support to turn their dreams into reality.”
Supporting sustainability goals
The Broadway Initiative, the alliance of organisations leading change towards sustainability, will manage the UK Business Climate Hub. Developed in partnership with associations such as the Federation of Small Business and the Institute of Directors, the hub has also received support from the British Business Bank, HSBC, NatWest, Electricity North West, Northern Powergrid and National Grid. It is also the UK partner of the international SME Climate Hub.
Business leaders and ministers on the new Net Zero Council have endorsed the new site, as the organisation calls on business representative organisations across the country to take concerted action to plan to reduce their members’ emissions.
The Council aims to ensure companies have a pathway to net zero, as well as identify key challenges facing UK-based SMEs in reducing their carbon footprints. It will also lead a systematic review of the financing challenges and the respective roles of government, industry and the financial sector in addressing them.