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Over 50% of Greater Manchester businesses have no awareness of the UK’s Net-Zero ambitions

Posted by: Q Energy
Category: News & Blogs

As COP26 continues in Glasgow a recent report of Greater Manchester businesses showed an alarming lack of awareness of the UK’s net-zero ambitions. There was good news though when it came to the motivation for adopting net-zero practices with most businesses saying their motivation was to achieve environmental and sustainable goals and a good number of businesses already making changes to their businesses.

The report “It Starts Here: The Road to Net-Zero for GM Businesses”, produced by Q Energy and supported by results from the GM Chambers’ Q3 Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) also highlighted the issues and challenges businesses face when wanting to make a start on their net-zero journey.

Vijay Natarajan Founder and COO of Q Energy said: “This report could not have come at a better time with the eyes of the world on Glasgow and the acceptance that we really are at a critical point with regards to carbon emissions. The race to a sustainable future isn’t just a race, it’s a team sport with everyone having to play their part. This especially includes the UK’s Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), a sector that accounts for over 99.9% of UK businesses and contributes to 50% of all commercial emissions across the country.”

“It is very worrying then when 55% of businesses say they are unaware of the UK’s net-zero ambitions.. The question around the challenges highlights the lack of information around net-zero, carbon measurements and reporting as being the main issue faced with 49% of businesses citing this closely followed by high up-front costs of solutions and services.”

“The better news came from the question focussed on the motivation for starting net-zero activity with 57% saying that they were doing it for environmental and sustainability goals rather than efficiency gains and/or cost savings (35%). This is surprising considering we’ve just come out of a pandemic and finances for many businesses are an increasing worry.”

“The final question focussed on what businesses were already doing on their net-zero journey with many undertaking a range of actions including practical changes such as LED lighting, turning down appliances as well as planning to install on-site renewable generation such as solar panels or battery storage.”

“It is quite clear from the report that Greater Manchester businesses care about creating a sustainable future with active plans for the next 12 months and beyond, though some still see this as an expensive option. At Q Energy we believe that data-driven approaches have a  key role to play in this transition with remote monitoring of equipment along with a smart carbon reduction platform utilising web and mobile app interfaces. But first of course it’s vital businesses understand their carbon footprint so they can tackle the priority areas first and we can help them do this.”

“ We have set up the Energy Savers Club and a free Net-Zero Reporting tool that allows businesses to calculate their carbon footprints and achieve their carbon reduction targets. Now, more than ever, action and practical help should be at the forefront of any message around net-zero and at Q Energy we can help businesses with this and achieve the ambitious target of GM becoming net-zero by 2038, way ahead of the government’s 2050 target.”

Chris Fletcher Policy Director at Greater Manchester Chamber said: “It is great to have had Q Energy support the QES on such a major issue. Net-zero is in everybody’s line of sight at present but it’s clear that whilst some businesses have made a start much more needs to be done. We will be working with Q Energy to help our members make that important first step on the road to net-zero.”


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