BT partners with UK Business Climate Hub to support SMEs in carbon reduction goals

SMEs currently account for more than 99% of all businesses in the UK.

The partnership aims to combine BT’s experience in assisting more than one million small business customers with the UK Business Climate Hub’s complimentary resources to aid businesses in lowering their carbon footprint and energy costs. SMEs can access these resources on the UKBCH website.

BT’s managing director for small and medium businesses Chris Sims said: “From speaking to our small business customers we know that with limited resources, many of them struggle to find the time, the funding, or the guidance to help them prioritise sustainability.

“With the UKBCH, we are beginning our journey to reach more businesses with free tools and practical support to help them set the foundations for a greener future, and ultimately, reach net-zero.”

The UKBCH was launched last year with the support of the Net-Zero Council, to help 5.5 million SMEs reduce energy costs and emissions as a part of their net-zero transition.

Research shows that SMEs currently account for more than 99% of all private sector businesses in the UK, emphasising their considerable influence on climate change, contributing to almost half (44%) of non-household emissions.

If able to achieve their near-term emissions reduction goal, SMEs could prevent 280 million tonnes of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere, according to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Despite the strong desire of 90% of SMEs to address climate change within their businesses, many struggle to initiate the process and identify suitable tools for mitigating their environmental impact.

‘Seven steps to sustainability’ for SMEs

To address these challenges, the UKBCH has developed the ‘seven steps to sustainability’ framework, providing practical guidance for SMEs to commence their sustainability journey.

The framework lays out a clear path for SMEs across all sectors, covering key actions such as understanding net-zero concepts, involving team members in carbon reduction initiatives, and making commitments to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050.

Additionally, SMEs are encouraged to explore financing options and support programmes tailored to sustainability efforts in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, while also considering opportunities to make their entire value chain low-carbon. These include supply chain improvements and adopting low-carbon transportation solutions such as electric vehicles (EVs).

Broadway Initiative’s, which manages the UKBCH, net zero programme director Chris Taylor said: “Whether it’s a tailored net-zero plan for individual SMEs, free carbon footprint calculators or an online training course on cutting emissions, with our tools and support, SMEs can reduce both costs and emissions and transition to a greener economy – the ultimate win-win.”

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