Skip to page content

Net Zero

Is your business working towards Net Zero?

Net Zero is becoming increasingly important to businesses. Clean economic growth is the national headline priority, and the Government has pledged £12bn investment in its 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, aiming to attract approximately three times as much private investment and up to 250,000 jobs.

What is Net Zero?

Net zero means that you are putting no more carbon into the atmosphere than you are taking out of it. The Government has set a target for the UK to be Net Zero by 2050.

Why should my business cut down carbon emissions?

It doesn’t matter what size your business is, or what industry you’re in, your commitment to reducing your carbon emissions could make a real difference – to the planet, to your customers and to your running costs!

Even the smallest businesses produce carbon emissions – this could be via buildings, vehicles or your supply chain. This handy list will give you an idea of what your business can do:

Steps you can take to cut your emissions

  • Switch to renewable energy. Move away from gas or oil, towards an air source or ground source heat pump.
  • Take control of your heating. Fit thermostatic radiator valves. Make sure you aren’t using more heating than you need.
  • Insulate and draft proof your buildings to avoid heat loss.
  • Change to low energy lighting. LED bulbs use 80-90% less energy that traditional light bulbs.
  • Use energy efficient appliances
  • Switch to walking or cycling short distances. Introduce a cycle to work scheme. If you need to transport goods think about switching to electric vehicles.
  • Minimise single use plastics.
  • Minimise the waste from your products and packaging.
  • Print only when necessary.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Talk to your supply chain – to make the biggest difference, we all need to be involved.

Why moving towards Net Zero is important for your business?

Plastic Packaging Tax

What is the Plastic PackagingTax?

The Plastic Packaging Tax applies to all finished plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK, that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. The tax is intended to encourage greater use of recycled plastic.

When will it come into effect?

The Plastic Packaging Tax will take effect from 1 April 2022

 Will the Plastic Packaging Tax affect my business?

If you are a business that manufactures or imports plastic packaging, including if you import packaging which already contains goods (such as plastic bottles), then you may be affected.

It is estimated that around 20,000 manufacturers, importers, business customers of manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging, and consumers who buy plastic packaging or goods in plastic packaging in the UK will be affected. This will can affect Businesses and their supply chains.

There are exceptions from the tax, check at –

Where can I find out more information?

HMRC have produced a guide to help businesses get ready for the Plastic Tax

Consumers are increasingly making spending choices based on climate impact and sustainability

Research funded by Innovate UK shows that 74% of people think that climate change is a global emergency, and in 2019 BCG found that 75% of consumers view sustainability as extremely or very important when purchasing fashion. Research from around the world agrees that sustainability and climate impact are becoming greater factors for consumers when deciding what product or service they purchase.

Large companies recognise this and are leading the way in showcasing their green credentials to consumers. Examples include Amazon’s $2 billion climate pledge and Apple’s commitment to 100% carbon neutrality by 2030.

Low carbon credentials are becoming increasingly important in supply chain opportunities

As larger companies face increasing legislative pressure and react to consumer trends, they are seeking to make their supply chains greener to reduce their own carbon footprint.

Net Zero and sustainability requirements are increasingly mandated in private and public procurement. For example, through their ‘climate Change Procurement Principles’, BT takes energy consumption and environmental impact into account when making decisions on suppliers and requires that any replacement supplier has lower energy consumption and environmental impact than their predecessor.

Green innovations, adaptations and new technologies offer increasing efficiency and profitability to businesses

While further innovations and new technologies are needed to help businesses and society reach Net Zero, there are increasingly affordable technologies and adaptations available today that can reduce your business’s carbon footprint, while also delivering financial savings and productivity increases.

Investments such as insulating your premises or producing your own energy from solar or wind are investments that can deliver long-term savings in heating and energy bills. Similarly, using electric vehicles for your business can considerably reduce your running costs, with electric vehicles running for as little as 1p per mile, compared to 7-8p per mile for the most efficient petrol and diesel vehicles. You can also take advantage of government subsidies which include plug-in grants when purchasing the vehicles, and the Workplace Charging Scheme which provides grants for installing charging points.

Start now: Calculate the carbon footprint of your business

Start now by calculating the carbon footprint of your business with  the SME Carbon Footprint Calculator from The Carbon Trust. You will need details of your:

  • Petrol/diesel fuel consumption in litres
  • Electricity consumption in kWh
  • Natural gas consumption in kWh or m3

What can you do?



Grants of up to £5k and £10k are available to support businesses with projects to cut their emissions.

Find out more

Carbon Calculator


Calculate your businesses corporate carbon emissions and reduce your carbon footprint.

Find out more

SEBB Grants


SEBB provides grants of up to £10k to support business. Grants have to be for growth projects, but these can be projects which cut emissions too, such as electric vehicles.

Find out more

Electric Vehicle Charge Point


Apply for Workplace Charging Scheme vouchers to get a discount on buying and installing electric vehicle charge points at your workplace.

Find out more

SME Climate Hub


The SME Climate Hub has a range of useful tools and resources to help you reduce your emissions and future proof your business.

Find out more

Planet Mark


Planet Mark accredited businesses make a 12% cut in absolute carbon emissions per year.

Find out more

Clean Growth UK


Access university equipment and expertise to develop new products and grow your green business. Free and subsidised business support is also available, and access to regional grants.

Find out more

Essex Climate Action Commission

Climate Action Business Advice Pack

A free pack created by the Essex Climate Action Commission containing advice, resources and guidance on sustainability planning and support in the workplace.

Click here to access the pack

Our Partners and Net Zero

Green Growth Platform

The University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform.

The South East Hub of Clean Growth UK, an award-winning green business-innovation network on a mission to help create robust, future-proof businesses that minimise their impact on the planet.

Find out more


Carbon Reduction Programme

Low Carbon Sustainability Training will explain the jargon behind climate science and help attendees get started on measuring and reducing their impact.

Find out more

Federation of Small Businesses

Explore the Small Business Sustainability Hub on the FSB website. Find out how FSB can help your business grow while shrinking its carbon footprint.

Find out more

Clean Growth South East

Opergy supporting partners at Kent County Council and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership in the design and delivery of an exciting pilot programme to support Clean Growth businesses across the South East.

Find out more