Together for our Planet

Commit to the UK Business Climate Hub and take steps to be greener, saving your business money and saving the planet too.

In preparation for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021, the Government launched the Together for our Planet campaign, calling on every small business in the UK to take small, practical steps to commit to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.

The Together for our Planet campaign encourages small businesses of up to 250 employees to visit the UK Business Climate Hub and begin their journey to net zero by making the SME Climate Commitment. This pledge is to halve greenhouse gas emissions before 2030, achieve net zero emissions before 2050, and share information on their progress each year.

No matter how small your business or what industry you’re in, your commitment could make a real difference – to your business, to your customers, to your community, to the planet – and to your energy bills!

Even the smallest businesses produce carbon emissions – it could be through your building, your vehicles or your supply chain. The UK Government is asking you to commit to cutting those carbon emissions in half by 2030 and to reach ‘net zero’ by 2050.

Net zero means that you’re putting no more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than you’re taking out of it.

When you make a net zero commitment on the UK Business Climate Hub, you’ll get the tools to help you understand:

  • your emissions
  • how to tackle them
  • how to share what you’re doing with your customers and your community

Going green can benefit your business in several ways. According to CDP data, if you properly insulate your building, you may be able to make back the money you spend in a year.

Making greener choices now is the perfect time to save on your running costs and show your customers you’re serious about sustainability.

Join the many small businesses taking action on climate change by signing up to the SME Climate Commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub, where you’ll also find tools and resources to help you.

Growing your business

It can be hard to think as far as 2030 when we’re all building back from coronavirus. But cutting emissions can mean saving money and give you a competitive advantage today.

When your business makes the SME Climate Commitment, it will have its name and logo featured on the SME Climate Hub and be recognised by the United Nations’ Race to Zero Campaign.

Having your commitment promoted in this way could help you attract that growing number of customers for whom climate change really matters. A recent Deloitte survey of UK consumers revealed more than a quarter have changed their buying habits because of ethical or environmental concerns, and it makes good business sense to attract new customers who want to buy sustainably.

Future-proofing your business

The UK is changing. For example, by 2030 you won’t be able to buy new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK, while zero-emission vehicles could support 40,000 jobs. Getting ahead of other countries like this will create new opportunities here in the UK. Is your business ready?

If you’re one of the UK’s millions of small businesses, going green makes good business sense, and you can get a range of financial support to help cut your carbon footprint, and save the planet.

Perhaps you’re starting out on your net zero journey and need some help? Here are five tips to help you to navigate and access the support available to go green.

1.   Install vehicle charging points with the Workplace Charging Scheme

Get a voucher for installing vehicle charging points in your workplace to help both the business and your staff go green. The vouchers cover up to 75% of purchase and installation costs, up to a maximum of £350 per charge point socket, and a maximum of 40 charging points per site.

Find out more at GOV.UK

2.   Save money by replacing your business vehicles with the Plug-in Charging Grant Scheme

Grants are available to help pay for low-emission vehicles.

The grant will pay for 35% of the purchase price for selected small vans, up to a maximum of £3,000. The grant will also pay for 35% of the purchase price for selected large vans, up to a maximum of £6,000. The first 200 large vans ordered through the scheme will receive a grant of £20,000 or a maximum of 20% of the purchase price. This will then drop to the same grant as a standard van.

Find out more at GOV.UK

3.   Benefit by claiming tax relief on the green actions you take

You can claim tax relief by claiming capital allowances, when you buy energy saving equipment for your business.

This includes some cars with low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, as well as energy and water saving equipment, gas, biogas and hydrogen refuelling equipment and new zero-emission goods vehicles.

You can claim on your annual tax return.

Find out more at GOV.UK

4.   Help your staff go greener and stay healthy too, through the Cycle to Work Scheme

You can offer staff the opportunity to hire new bikes and cycling equipment as part of a salary sacrifice scheme. Any size business can operate a cycle to work scheme.

Find out more at GOV.UK

5.   Check now for local grants and support that may be available in your local area

Depending on where you’re based, your local authority might be able to provide support to help you cut your carbon footprint. Find out more by speaking to your local authority or Growth Hub.

Find your local Growth Hub at the LEP Network website

Alternatively, speak with your bank or accountant about tailored green business finance.

Energy efficiency specialist SURE Solutions will be taking advantage of the Workplace Charging Scheme as it aims to be net zero by 2025. The Birkenhead-based firm is installing electric charge points for cars used for business over the coming months.

Operations Director Craig Shaw said: “We’ll be fitting six charge points in our car park, with a view to fitting five more as demand increases.

“The transition to electric and hybrid vehicles is well under way, so it makes sense to take advantage of the incentives while they’re available.

“Schemes like these will really help support businesses’ sustainability initiatives, increase electric adoption among employees and support the UK’s climate change goals while maximising commercial benefits.”

This year, 2021, is the time to do it.

In November, the UK Government is hosting a major conference in Glasgow where world leaders will get together to commit to urgent action to tackle the climate emergency. It’s called COP26, and all eyes will be on the UK to agree the most ambitious plans to fight climate change the world has ever seen.

And you can be part of it. Become one of thousands of small business climate leaders across the UK this year and commit today at the UK Business Climate Hub.

Be part of the solution

We all want to create a better planet, but it can be hard to know where to start. Through this commitment, join other businesses, get tips, make a plan, and be confident that you’re really making a difference.

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