Pandemic spurs small firms into climate action

Green small businesses have been spurred to action by the pandemic and have placed saving the planet high on their agenda.

And entrepreneurs are now seeing sustainability as a critical issue and want to take action to ease lockdown restrictions.

This is evident from new research by Small Business UK and BT skills for tomorrow, which practically all small businesses (99 percent) found, are now convinced of the importance of sustainability.

The Covid-19 pandemic catapulted the environment to the forefront of business owners. Almost half (47 percent) of small businesses see this issue as more important than it did before the lockdown began.

Over two-thirds (68 percent) are keen to commit to the UK government’s goal of zeroing by 2050. The interesting data also suggests that many may have made progress in this area over the past year.

A third of small businesses think they have taken bigger steps to become more sustainable. 47 percent said that digital technologies played a key role with more remote working and online activities.

And Michelle Ovens, Founder of Small Business Britain, said, “Entrepreneurs are natural changers, and the tremendous passion and commitment to protecting the environment that we always see in this group has been reinforced by this crisis.

“Covid-19 has raised awareness of our vulnerability to global problems and triggered profound changes. We were also inspired by what is possible when people work together.

“Having 99 percent of UK businesses represented in small businesses can play an important role in helping Britain and the planet go back to zero. We just have to give them the right support. “

The study polled over 1000 companies in the UK community of Small Business Britain and found that despite growing environmental awareness and obligations, small businesses need support to reach net zero.

Over three quarters (77 percent) do not know exactly how to measure CO2 emissions. 73 percent are interested in more training and education to understand this.

Elle Carcamo, owner of Caribe Coffee, added: “Our company is all too aware of the devastating effects of climate change as we import green coffee from Central America, which directly affects communities.

“We definitely want to commit to net zero by 2050.

“We don’t know exactly how to get there, but we are currently making strides from the way we import goods to the utilities we use when working from home.”

And Pete Oliver, MD, SMB, for BT Corporate Business, said, “It is gratifying to see that virtually all small businesses are realizing the importance of sustainability and that digital technologies have played an important role in reducing small businesses during the pandemic Carbon footprint from remote working and a greater online presence.

“However, the fact that more than three quarters of them don’t know how to measure their carbon emissions shows that small businesses need more support and training to take action. Small businesses can take their first steps to make a difference by enrolling in the government’s Business Climate Hub.

“While we also provide free learning content through our Skills for Tomorrow program.”

The research follows the start of Planet for small business Small Business Britain’s campaign to engage and encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses to get involved in Net Zero before 2050 to support the UK Government’s wider call for action and efforts in this area.

BT Skills for Tomorrow is running a free series of climate change webinars covering key topics such as: B. How small businesses can measure their carbon footprint.


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