How can SMEs play an important role in the UK's Net Zero targets? By Anna Cantwell

What is an SME?

The UK Government currently defines Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in accordance with the table below.

How do they make up the UK economy?

  • At the start of 2021 SMEs accounted for 99.9% of the business population (5.5 million businesses).
  • SMEs account for three fifths of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector.
  • Total employment in SMEs was 16.3 million (61% of the total), whilst turnover was estimated at £2.3 trillion (52%).

How can SMEs play an important role in the UK’s Net Zero targets?

Considering the above factors, it’s crucial that SMEs are equipped to play a role in achieving the UK’s Net Zero targets.

UK Government have set a 2050 Net Zero target and more ambitiously the Scottish Government has set legislation for Scotland to be Net Zero by 2045, providing a clear legal mandate for businesses in Scotland to start reducing emissions now, and to continue to do so as time goes forward.

Although the actions of one company may be comparatively small, collectively an effort by all SMEs will have a significant impact on the greenhouse gas emissions of Scotland and the UK.

Therefore, I’m absolutely delighted to introduce you to the Climate Action Hub.

What is the Climate Action Hub?

Last year we worked with SBCC and Zero Waste Scotland to develop and launch the Climate Action Hub.

It is a free online platform that provides an individual learning experience for Scottish SMEs:

  • Understand – The backbone of the hub follows a 12 module e-learning pathway that goes through the themes of ‘Why Net Zero?’, ‘Understanding Your Carbon’ and ‘How to Implement’. Each module takes around 15 – 20 mins to complete, is CPD accredited – with a passing mark giving an industry recognised certificate that is stored within the hub.
  • Measure – Beyond the e-learning pathway admins of the account can use the tool to manage their entire business’ learning, bookmarking progress with company and individual assessments, tracking and assigning learning material through the corporate dashboard.
  • Take Action – The learning materials also guide users on how to use the additional Sustainability Tool – A carbon calculator and Carbon Reduction Plan generator which gives suggested short, medium and long term actions tailored to specific sectors – providing SMEs with a recognised plan, suitable for tender and funding applications.

Are you help an SME needing help with your carbon reduction targets? Get in touch today.

For more information

Anna Cantwell
Senior Consultant

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