Around 40% of SMEs do not have plans in place to meet net zero

Survey shows small businesses need to accelerate sustainability plans to reach net zero target of 2050

Big Zero Report 2023

2050 carbon target

Some UK industries still have a long way to go in terms of setting sustainability goals and reducing their carbon footprint.

This is according to a recent survey of SMEs, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by World Kinect Energy Services.

The survey was conducted across 12 different UK industries including manufacturing, construction, retail, hospitality and health.

The survey suggests that there is more pressure on businesses to adopt renewable energy and reduce their emissions due to the government’s plan to ensure the country reaches its net zero targets by 2050.

The survey was conducted with 1,021 UK SMEs and found that 40% of these do not have a plan in place to become more sustainable, with 30% not intending to do so whatsoever. However, 53% of SMEs and 45% of medium-sized businesses do have a plan in place for the 2050 deadline and have achieved some of their goals.

The construction industry was the most likely to not have a plan in place for sustainability, despite it producing the highest emissions out of all industries. Around 38% of construction firms revealed they do not aim to introduce any sustainability goals or objectives.

In contrast, the medical industry was considered the best prepared with 68% of those businesses having a strategy in place and 53% having already achieved some of their goals.

The study did highlight the barriers in place preventing some businesses from adopting sustainable measures, with cost and the implications of the pandemic being the two most popular.

Senior Director of Global Sustainability, Therese Gjerde, said: “The 2050 deadline for net zero is a lot closer than people think and it can take time to develop a realistic, achievable strategy and even longer to implement it.

Organisations must act now and start their sustainability journey by developing a long-term emissions reduction strategy that will benefit their impact on the environment.”

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