SMEs in the dark about carbon emissions

NatWest research has revealed that 87% of UK SMEs are unaware of their business’s total carbon emissions. This is despite the fact that almost half (45%) recognise it will be important to lower their emissions in the near future.

This is according to NatWest’s Springboard to Sustainability report, which also found that with the right support the UK’s six million SMEs can contribute to up to 50% of the UK’s Net Zero decarbonisation goals by 2030, worth an estimated £160bn in revenue.

To help address this crucial gap between intent and knowledge, the bank has launched the NatWest Carbon Tracker app which provides SMEs with an estimate of their carbon footprint.

The app, developed in partnership with carbon tracking expert Cogo, will be piloted with eligible SMEs in the manufacturing and transport sectors to allow those SMEs to trial the app, with no fee being payable for use, before NatWest looks to roll the Carbon Tracker out to eligible SMEs more widely.

Andrew Harrison, head of business banking, NatWest Group, said: “As the UK’s biggest bank for business, we know many SMEs are unsure about where to start on their sustainability journey, and many don’t have the time or resources needed to understand their environmental impact.

“However, with the right support, our research shows that by 2030, it will make financial sense for up to 70% of UK businesses to reduce emissions.

“Opportunities exist across all sectors of the economy, but the transport and industrial sectors provide the most urgent and immediate positive business cases. A free and quick view of their carbon footprint can help businesses move in the right direction to cut emissions, gain a competitive edge, grow and future proof their business as the UK works towards making a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030.”