SMEs and the Race to Zero
There are over 5.6 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, making up 99% of all businesses. To reach net zero by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5°C, it is critical that small businesses are committed to climate action and taking bold steps to reduce their emissions. Acting now may also have significant benefits for SMEs, including reducing costs and increasing efficiency; creating a competitive advantage in supply chains; and improving reputation among clients and customers.
To support this aim, the UN Race to Zero campaign, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Exponential Roadmap Initiative, and We Mean Business Coalition launched the SME Climate Hub in 2020. The Hub was created as the one-stop-shop climate action platform for SMEs and gives small businesses an easy way of joining the Race to Zero through the SME Climate Commitment. It also provides access to practical guides and hands-on tools to help SMEs identify, measure, report, and reduce their carbon emissions.
Ahead of COP26 in 2021, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched the ‘Together for Our Planet’ campaign, alongside the UK Business Climate Hub. To highlight this resource and the ways it can help UK SMEs achieve net zero, the UN Global Compact Network UK and BEIS hosted a ‘UK Small Businesses and the UN Race to Zero’ webinar in June 2021, featuring guest speakers from the UK Government and Hayne House Wedding Venue in Kent.
This year, the UN Global Compact Network UK held a follow-up webinar, ‘SME Climate Hub: Net Zero for Small Businesses’, to explore the newest resources on the Hub. This session featured guest speakers Lydia Elliot from the We Mean Business Coalition, Keri Andriana from Amschela, and Will Kirk from Forster Communications. Both webinars can be accessed below, and key takeaways from the second event can be found here.
Do you have questions about how your small business can get involved in climate action and start the journey to net zero? Explore our resources below or contact Alexandra Ranft, Climate Action Project Manager, for more information.
17 June 2021, 10:00-11:00 BST
In support of the ‘Race to Zero’, this webinar, hosted by the UN Global Compact Network UK in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, focussed on small business (250 employees or less) involvement in climate action in the lead up to COP26. It aimed to:
- Provide participants with insights into the potential implications of climate change and the UK's transition to net zero on their business;
- Improve participants understanding of the benefits that can be achieved by taking climate action;
- Raise awareness among participants of the tools and support available to help them reach emissions reduction targets.
Tuesday, May 3rd 2022 10:00-11:15 BST
In 2020, the UN Race to Zero campaign, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, and the We Mean Business (WMB) coalition launched the ‘SME Climate Hub’ – a one-stop-shop climate action platform for small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
To highlight this valuable resource, the UN Global Compact Network UK and the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) hosted a webinar, ‘SME Climate Hub: Net Zero for Small Businesses’ to discuss how SMEs can make their own net zero commitment and access practical resources and tools through the Hub. Participants heard from leaders in small businesses that are signed up to the commitment and already taking action to reach net zero.
This session built on the focus of the webinar we hosted last year, ‘UK Small Businesses and the Race to Zero’, which can be accessed with the form opposite.
CEO and Founder
Head of Operations
Supply Chains Manager
We Mean Business Coalition
Guidance and tools:
- SME Climate Hub's Tools & Resources
- 5°C Business Playbook
- EcoAct Homeworking emissions Whitepaper
- Bank of Scotland’s From Now to Net Zero: A Practical Guide for SMEs
- Better Futures (London-based)
- Sustainable Business Guide
- The Federation of Small Business' Sustainability Hub
- CDP’s Climate Disclosure Framework for SMEs
Climate courses and programmes: