Business leaders want to deliver net zero – but they don’t know how

The British Standards Institution warns business leaders across the UK are largely unaware of the implications on net zero on their organisations

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Business leaders want to deliver net zero – but they don’t know how.

That’s the worrying suggestion from a new report published by the British Standards Institution (BSI), which surveyed more than 1,000 of the UK’s senior decision-makers and sustainability professionals.

The results of the study warn business leaders are largely unaware of the implications on net zero on their organisations, with 64% not confident they fully understood the potential impacts it will bring and 82% suggesting they require more guidance in order to cut their emissions.

Around 70% of those surveyed said their company’s plans to go green have been delayed by the pandemic, which also remains the largest perceived hurdle going forwards.

Although 70% said their business is considering making or has already made a solid commitment to achieving the goal, only a fifth of small businesses are currently committed to net zero, compared to half of larger firms.

The BSI warns that as smaller businesses account for 99.9% of UK businesses and generate half of all business-related emissions, this “could severely undermine the overall net zero progress in the UK”.

Scott Steedman, Director-General Standards at BSI said: “Despite the pressures posed by the pandemic, it is incredibly positive that there is growing, wide-spread commitment from business leaders to achieve net zero by 2050.

“As the UK National Standards Body, BSI is ideally positioned to partner with organisations to build a standards strategy for them and their sectors that will support their sustainability ambitions. We call for organisations of every size across every industry to join us in shaping the best practices that will accelerate the journey to net zero and create a healthier and more sustainable world for the coming generations.”