Private sector launches nationwide research programme to drive UK’s net-zero agenda

The Census will be active from today (1 May) until 30 June 2024.

The research initiative, dubbed as the UK Net Zero Business Census, is being delivered by the UK Business Climate Hub (UKBCH), in partnership with sustainability certification programme Planet Mark and a coalition of businesses and media outlets.

The initiative will involve an annual survey that will determine the percentage of UK businesses with net-zero objectives, the number of businesses monitoring their carbon footprint, and steps taken by businesses to minimise this footprint.

Additionally, it will offer a breakdown of regional, sectoral and business size data, providing insights to policymakers, investors and business leaders regarding the nation’s journey towards net-zero.

The Census will be active from today (1 May) until 30 June 2024. Access is available via and is open to businesses of any size or industry based in the UK.

The coalition of partners aims for the campaign and ensuing report to motivate business action on net-zero. Some of the partners include CBI, Make UK, British Chambers of Commerce, Barclays, IEMA, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, BSI, NatWest, Innovation Zero, Ad Net Zero, BT Group and Octopus Energy.

Planet Mark’s director of policy and partnerships Andrew Griffiths said: “This is the most ambitious survey ever undertaken on the state of UK business’ progress to achieving net-zero.

“Through working with so many like-minded partners, we will be able to reach thousands of businesses across the country to understand the commitments and actions they are taking to drive positive change for society, business and nature.”

Broadway Initiative’s convener, who manages UKBCH, Edward Lockhart said: “The Net Zero Census will provide an annual benchmark for the business community on our journey to a low carbon economy.

“It will give Government, business leaders and the financial community a richer dataset than we’ve ever had before to take stock of progress and what more needs to be done.

“It will give us the tools to understand the impact of the Business Climate Hub and how we should target resources to enable smaller businesses to decarbonise and provide the low carbon solutions of the future.”

Last year, the UKBCH was launched, backed by the UK Government’s Net Zero Council, with an aim to support 5.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in reducing energy costs and emissions as a part of their net-zero transition.

Recently, the UKBCH announced a partnership with BT aimed at assisting SMEs in reducing their carbon emissions by half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. 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. The partnership aims to resolve these barriers.

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