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Federation of Small Businesses calls on UK government to help small firms go green

By Rebecca Hitchon | 10 November 2021 | News

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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has issued a Call to Action to help small firms go green, after a study they issued found that almost two-thirds of small businesses have no active plan to reduce their impact on the environment.

36 percent of small businesses have a plan to combat climate change, but only 30 percent have made changes to their businesses as a result of this plan.

The FSB’s Accelerating Progress report, which was issued to coincide with the 2021 COP26 conference, revealed that 56 percent of small business owners accept that our planet is facing a climate crisis.

67 percent of small firms have taken steps to reduce their energy usage, while 64 percent have increased recycling.

However, the majority of small businesses don’t know how to measure how much carbon emissions their business produces, and 27 percent say that it will be extremely difficult to transition to a net zero economy.

Small businesses that were spoken to for the study commented that grants, low interest loans and business rates discounts would encourage them to improve their energy efficiency.

Accelerating Progress concludes with recommendations, which include:

  • The UK government should issue £5,000 in vouchers for businesses to spend on qualifying environmental products and services under a Help To Green initiative.
  • The UK government and the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) should establish a taskforce of suppliers, small business landlords and business groups to agree how to cut energy use in rented premises.
  • Local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should incorporate small business waste collection services into their domestic collection services.
  • The UK government should exempt green investments from inclusion in a business rates assessment.

Read the full FSB Accelerating Progress report here.