Your Questions Answered

From costs to employee engagement and everything in between, read on for answers to questions most commonly asked by our customers as they take their first steps towards a low carbon future. We have also included links that will lead you to more detailed information for each of the areas covered...

Where can I access help to start, or progress, my net zero journey?

 Check out the Exponential Roadmap Initiative's Business Playbook, which is crammed full of facts, figures, useful info, and guidance to help businesses prepare and progress their net zero strategies!

 Whatever the size of your business, the UK's SME Climate Hub offers useful advice and tools to help you make a real difference with a few simples changes. Why not join thousands of businesses that have already committed to protecting the planet by cutting their carbon emissions in half by 2030, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050?

Make the commitment today

View the WWF Emission Possible Guide - click here

 If you would like a low carbon specialist to work with you at every stage of your journey and offer targeted assistance in line with your business's current position and future plans, find out more about the Make it Net Zero programme from SWMAS; bespoke support and guidance that is fully funded for eligible SMEs...

register your interest to participate in the fully funded, make it net zero programme from SWMAS.

How much will it cost to begin, or progress, my net zero journey?

Good news...all resources under the UK’s SME Climate Hub are free to use, and the SWMAS Make it Net Zero programme is fully funded for small and medium-sized businesses!
The only cost to your business is in the time and engagement needed to:

  • Gather the data needed to calculate your carbon footprint
  • Develop and implement your low carbon action plan
  • Continue to adapt business operations in line with your low carbon ambitions

How can I take action to reduce emissions?

In order to effectively reduce emissions, a company must first understand its current position to set a baseline and identify which areas are producing the highest carbon emissions to create a plan for future improvements.

 The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol is the most widely used accounting standard for measuring and managing emissions and offers practical, step-by-step guidance to help you understand and measure your business's impact. More detailed guidance for scopes 2 and 3 can be accessed below...

For guidance on scope 2 emissions - click here          For guidance on Scope 3 emissions - click here

They have also developed a free, GHG Emissions Calculation Tool; which allows businesses to estimate their emissions, based on the GHG protocol...

Learn more and download the GHG Emissions Calculation Tool  

 From setting targets to measuring and reporting emissions, adapting business strategies, and pursuing energy efficiency projects, the SME Climate Hub offers a variety of tools and links to relevant information that will help you progress your net zero journey...

 Access Tools and Resources from the SME Climate Hub

How do I calculate my carbon footprint?

You will need to gather the following information in order to calculate your business's annual carbon footprint:

  • Details of fuel consumption: check bills, fuel card data, or meters for this information.
  • Details of energy consumption: available via your energy supplier, either by checking your online account, or reviewing your energy bills for the period in question.
  • Details of 'fugitive' emissions: these emissions result from intentional or unintentional releases, most commonly from refrigeration and air conditioning systems. Check service and maintenance records for this information.

Once you have the above information to hand, you can enter this data into the SME Carbon Footprint Calculator; a simple tool provided by the Carbon Trust to help you gain a thorough understanding of your current position, in order to plan your next steps...

Access the Carbon Trust's SME Carbon Footprint Calculator

Other useful information to help businesses calculate, and lower, their total emissions...

Remote Working 
More widely offered as a result of recent COVID-19 lockdowns, home working can contribute to lowering a company's carbon footprint through a reduction in commuting, but associated emissions must be accounted for to obtain an accurate picture. Climate Consultancy and Project Developer; EcoAct has published a useful guide to help you measure work from home emissions and The Carbon Trust has shared a report offering businesses recommendations to help them lower these emissions: 

To view EcoAct's Homeworking Emissions Whitepaper - click here          To view the Carbon Trust's 2021 Homeworking Report - Click Here

Reducing Travel Emissions
If your business relies on vehicles to transport goods or has significant commuter emissions, check out this Fleet Management Toolkit from the Energy Savings Trust, which will offer valuable advice and guidance to help you reduce road transport emissions.   

Reducing carbon emissions throughout your supply chain
To address Scope 3 (emissions that occur in a company's value chain), businesses must look at emissions from their customers and suppliers. The Carbon Trust has put together the How to be a Good Supplier Guide to help SMEs investigate and improve their energy and carbon management.

If you're a manufacturing business...

Doconomy’s interactive tool is helpful to understand the footprints of products and materials.

If you're a service provider...

The Climate Hero Carbon Calculator has been specifically designed for service businesses.

How do I engage employees to support the business's net zero journey?

SWMAS recognise the need to inspire your workforce as you embark on internal improvement projects, and beginning your low carbon journey is no exception!
To ensure your business's successful transition to a net zero future, all employees should be briefed on the proposed plan of action so they feel included, understand timeframes and deadlines, and are fully aware of how they can contribute. 

Our Make it Net Zero Programme will offer a range of resources to help you raise awareness and encourage support from your workforce...
From simple taster sessions to more detailed carbon literacy and circular economy training, we can upskill your key staff to help guarantee you have the support you need to start, manage, and successfully achieve your net zero goals... 

Register your interest for the SWMAS Make it Net Zero Programme


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