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CBI Helps to Support SMEs on Their Journey to Net-Zero

Published on: 02 September 2021

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Achieving net-zero will require businesses of every size to make real changes. Action is required not only from medium and large firms with hundreds of employees, but also small medium enterprises (SMEs) with just five.

To support those smaller firms which are also needed in the challenge to meet net-zero, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has produced a practical guide on how firms can get started on their road to net-zero.

It provides tips and real life examples to help SMEs track and reduce their carbon footprint. This includes an explanation of what a carbon footprint is, what to consider when tracking and reducing emissions, and lessons on how other organisations have approached reducing their carbon footprint.

Alongside helping SMEs understand their carbon footprint, the CBI is actively encouraging more firms to sign up to the United Nation’s (UN) Race to Zero campaign. It is vital that firms of all sizes, not only large corporations, signal a robust commitment to achieve net-zero by 2050 at the latest. This is a journey the whole economy needs to participate in for the UK to achieve this goal.

Sharing business to business insight on practical action taken is vital in supporting SMEs to meet this pledge. That’s why the CBI has collaborated with Deloitte, Accounting for Sustainability (A4S), Chapter Zero, the Met Office and Dell Technologies to develop the Goal 13 Impact Platform. This open access platform allows SMEs to share their own insights and learn from others in setting climate targets and commitments.

In June 2021, the CBI brought more than 1,000 business leaders together to discuss the role of businesses, including SMEs, in achieving the UK’s 2050 net-zero target via its Road to Net Zero Conference. CBI members can go back and watch the conference in full, with the key note addresses available for all to view through the CBI's YouTube page.

In terms of next steps, look out for further practical guidance from the CBI to support SMEs on their journey to net-zero this autumn. This includes a thought leadership factsheet to help SMEs get started on their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and sustainable finance journey. It also provides even more in-depth guidance on helping firms understand the different scopes of emissions (one to three) and the various disclosure requirements behind them.