As SMEs struggle with resource restraints and knowledge gaps in their pursuit of net zero, the UK government announces a new UK business climate hub

61% of polled SMEs had not started on their path to net zero, and only 9% fully understood the significance of the UK’s national target for net zero by 2050. With a new climate hub announced, will these numbers change?
August 24, 2023

The UK announces a new climate hub for SMEs

Source: Unsplash

Businesses in Britain will have access to brand-new guidance and assistance to lower their energy costs and carbon emissions. A free carbon calculator and a variety of new tools are part of the UK Business Climate Hub, launched on August 14th. These tools assist businesses in measuring, tracking, and reporting their emissions as well as in saving money by using less energy. It provides in-depth guidance on everything from finding eco-friendly manufacturers and cutting freight and logistics emissions to the most economical ways to install solar panels and EV charging stations.[i] The Broadway Initiative is in charge of managing the new UK Business Climate Hub, which was created in collaboration with organisations like the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors. The British Business Bank, HSBC, NatWest, Electricity Northwest, Northern PowerGrid, and National Grid have also provided support thus far. It is the international SME Climate Hub's UK partner.[ii]

National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, Martin McTague, said:

“We are pleased to have contributed to the new UK Business Climate Hub that will provide businesses with trusted tools and information to help them navigate the net zero transition. SMEs recognise their role in net zero but many still find it challenging to access the relevant support and resources to play their part. This new official platform for advice and support will really help. In addition to helping small firms become more energy and resource efficient, the hub also has the opportunity to empower small firms to take ambitious steps towards net zero, ultimately ensuring that they also benefit from the economic opportunities created in a net zero economy.”[iii]

The hub launch comes as research suggests that 90% of SMEs want to combat climate change, yet they struggle to know where to begin or how to discover the best solutions to lessen their carbon impact.[iv] Going green can contribute to economic growth because studies show that 85% of consumers are more willing to purchase from a company with a reputation for sustainability.[v]

Raising green awareness for SMEs

The hub's opening coincides with the publication of a report by Lloyds Bank and the British Chambers of Commerce. The research is based on a survey of more than 1,000 UK businesses, 96% of which were SMEs. The poll found that only 8% of SME respondents fully understood the significance of the 2050 net-zero target and that 30% did in part. Nearly half (49%) were aware but had no specifics, while 14% were not informed. A lack of resources made the majority of SMEs' net-zero journeys "non-starters" (61%). While 9% were progressing or hitting their net-zero goals, 31% were still in the beginning phases.[vi] This highlights how increasing awareness is vital to ensuring SMEs are ready to be part of a net zero future and are capable of achieving it for themselves. The value of the UK business climate hub in creating an environment where this awareness and subsequent capability is fostered cannot be understated.


[i] UK Government- One-stop-shop to help businesses save money and go green

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Sage- SMEs critical to cutting UK carbon emissions but overlooked in government’s net-zero plans

[v] Economist Impact- Sustainability: The missing link

[vi] Lloyds banking group- Where are SMEs on their journeys to Net Zero?

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Oscar Pusey
Research Analyst

Oscar is a recent graduate with a background in earth science. He is currently studying an MSc focussing on disaster responses, emergency planning and community resilience. His postgraduate research project will assess the link between climate crisis risk perception and attitudes to green energy projects. “Adapting to the climate crisis through the pursuit of net zero requires community engagement and understanding. Zero Carbon Academy’s goals closely align with this approach and I’m excited to have the opportunity to research and communicate a variety of topics relating to our environment and sustainability”.

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