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Darren Wingfield

Darren Wingfield

Commercial Manager

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Chasing Net Zero: The Small Business Benefits of Decarbonisation

Posted on 14/12/22  |  3 Minutes

The effects of climate change can now be felt across the globe, with grave stakes for the world’s sea levels and the survival of thousands of its animal species.

Assuming a sense of personal responsibility for reducing the impact of climate change can contribute to a meaningful positive impact when adopted on a large scale. Through decarbonisation, business owners can bring this personal responsibility into the professional and take small but significant steps towards protecting our planet.

There are obvious environmental benefits that come with reducing your business’s carbon footprint - but the good news doesn’t end there.

We’re putting decarbonisation efforts under the microscope to illuminate the advantages of chasing net zero emissions in your small business.

Get ahead of legal regulations

As outlined in last year’s COP26 conference, it will become a legal requirement in 2023 for UK businesses to publish their decarbonisation plans. The clear purpose of this new legislation is to ensure an allied effort to minimise the UK’s carbon footprint, looking ahead to the Climate Change Act’s 2050 net zero target.

By embracing decarbonisation before it comes into law, you can get ahead of the curve with your environmental efforts and begin to bring sustainability into your regular working processes. This will mean a far less steep learning curve for you and your staff in the months and years to come as a result of your more embedded green mindset.

Give your business a competitive edge

A 2021 survey by the British Chambers of Commerce revealed that just 11% of respondents were actively measuring their business’s carbon footprint. Opportunistic business owners might reframe this disheartening stat and recognise the competitive edge that comes with being an exception to the rule.

Consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever before, with matters of sustainability now able to make or break a business’s ability to convert new customers.

By promoting a green philosophy and putting your money where your mouth is, from reducing your brand’s carbon footprint to investing in sustainable packaging, you can differentiate your business from the competition. In this way, you can carve a path towards net zero in your industry.

Improve your professional reputation

We’ve touched on the reputational benefits of decarbonisation from a consumer perspective, but there are other image-based benefits to enjoy (alongside the obvious ethical justifications).

For one thing, values are becoming an increasingly major factor in the 21st-century job search, as environmentally minded job seekers look for like minded enterprises that reflect their ideals. This means any efforts to lower your business’s carbon footprint could actually be the key to attracting valuable new talent.

You may even be able to attract exciting new investment opportunities by demonstrating your business has a clear long-term sustainability strategy. Forward-thinking enterprises have a considerable edge when it comes to earning investment, with financiers having confidence in the sustainability of supply chains, operating processes and more.

Future-proof your supply chain

Supply chains are impacted by factors galore that can drive meaningful efficiencies or, on the other end of the scale, cause costly disruptions.

A sustainable supply chain is a robust one, with reliable, energy-efficient systems in place to protect your business whatever the future may bring. Taking active steps to lower your business’s carbon footprint by investing in alternative energy sources, for example, can safeguard your business against market disruptions such as shortages of finite resources.

If your business is dependent on supply chains, decarbonisation can also streamline these systems to ensure minimal disruption - with valuable cost savings being a welcome bonus.

Create long-term cost savings

You’ll be pleased to hear that investing in decarbonisation also brings long-term financial benefits to your business.

For starters, making the move towards renewable energy sources, through updates such as investing in solar panels, can lower your business’s utility bills - which is no small thing in the current economic climate.

There are also welcome cost savings to be had through updating company cars to electric vehicle alternatives - with attractive tax benefits as well as savings on charges for driving in clean air zones throughout the UK.

Put simply, sustainability pays.

Contribute to a greener planet

Of course, the ultimate goal of any decarbonisation activity is to create a greener future for the world we live in.

Reducing waste in the workplace, helping to conserve natural resources and, ultimately, working to alleviate the effects of climate change, the pursuit of net zero is a noble effort that will improve the health of our planet in the generations to come.

If for no other reason than to do your bit to contribute to the UK’s net zero efforts, decarbonisation is worth the fight.

While you focus on minimising your business’s carbon footprint, you can leave the accounts to us. At Harlands Accountants, it’s our mission to give small business owners peace of mind that their finances are in safe hands - liberating them to invest their time and effort into growing their company.

Get in touch with our expert team today to find out more about how we can take care of the accounting while you take care of the planet.