We want to help every business join the green revolution
With small to medium sized enterprises making up over 99% of the UK business community, and business and industry accounting for a quarter of UK emissions, it is clear that the actions of every single business will be central to this country’s successful transition to a low carbon economy.
As hosts of this year’s UN’s climate summit in Glasgow this November and with the UK leading the world’s response to climate change, this year presents a unique opportunity for all UK businesses to take action on climate and inspire business around the world to follow the same path.
I want every business, from entrepreneurial family firms to the very largest household names, at home and abroad, to make their own pledge to eliminate their contribution to climate change by 2050. If we can all move together at the same time the costs of making the change are radically lower and we can all move much further and faster.
On behalf of the Government, I will be working closely with small businesses from across the UK to help them join the green business revolution and commit to becoming greener and more sustainable. And every Parliamentarian will be able to get involved with this work and to lead the charge on in High Streets and business parks in their own constituency.
I want every business, from entrepreneurial family firms to the very largest household names, to pledge to eliminate their contribution to climate change by 2050
Smaller enterprises can make a real difference by taking simple and easy steps: looking at the energy they use, how their buildings run and where they get their products from. Being greener also opens up new avenues of growth for small businesses to attract the increasing number of consumers who care about climate.
Every day I discover fantastic examples of UK businesses leading the way in tackling climate change by taking bold decisions and developing innovative new technology. This month, Morrisons announced it will be the first supermarket chain to be completely supplied by ‘net zero’ carbon British farms whilst Rolls Royce’s first all-electric plane will soon take to the skies.
We have also seen a significant number of UK businesses join the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, a global initiative setting science-based targets to get net zero by 2050. Already a quarter of the UK’s largest businesses, including AstraZeneca, Sainsburys and Vodafone have signed up, and the rate at which companies are joining has accelerated over recent months.
I am only too aware of the challenges faced by the business community due to the pandemic. But there are also reasons to be optimistic. The Prime Minister’s roadmap sets out the path for easing restrictions and to cautiously reopening our economy, and the vaccine programme means the public can begin to feel confident about getting out again, when the time comes.
While we know the world will be different as a result of the pandemic, this is the ideal opportunity to change the way we work, to build back greener and to be more sustainable.
I want to recognise and thank all the businesses around the globe which are making considerable efforts to become more sustainable. But we need more to come aboard.
The eyes of the world will be upon us this year. We have made huge and historic commitments on climate change but it is vital all UK businesses play their part if we are to succeed.
Andrew Griffith is the UK's Net Zero Business Champion.
Listen to Andrew, along with Alan Brown MP and Jerome Mayhew MP, discuss how we can make net-zero a reality on the latest edpisode of the Engineering a Better World podcast series.