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Business Energy

The majority of smaller businesses don’t understand ‘carbon jargon’.

The majority of SMEs in the UK don’t understand how common environmental terms such as ‘net zero’, ‘carbon neutral’ and ‘carbon footprint’ apply to their businesses, according to new research commissioned by the British Business Bank.

The Opinium survey of 1,000 senior decision-makers in smaller businesses found more than half (54%) believe the language, terminology and information around carbon emissions reduction are overcomplex.

Which energy terms are most misunderstood?

‘Carbon jargon’ terms misunderstood by businesses include:

1. Greenhouse gas emissions: 87% of businesses did not have a full understanding of the term and what it meant for their business

2. Decarbonisation: 78%

3. Net zero: 74%

4. Carbon neutral: 69%

5. Carbon footprint: 59%

Shanika Amarasekara, Chief Impact Officer at The British Business Bank, said: “Smaller businesses are far too often put off by the overcomplex ‘carbon jargon’ that comes with reducing emissions. The British Business Bank hopes to show smaller businesses that simple, incremental changes, such as switching off equipment when not in use can make a difference in their net zero transition.

This will become an increasingly important businesses requirement. Given that many consumers now consider sustainability when they make a purchase, by becoming greener, smaller businesses can enhance their competitive edge and expand their customer base.”

Smaller businesses have a big role to play 

The British Business Bank’s ‘Smaller businesses and the transition to net zero report’, published in October 2021, found that smaller businesses account for around half (50%) of total emissions from UK businesses. Nearly half (45%) believe, however, that a reduction in their carbon emissions will not make a significant difference to the environment and almost three in four (72%) believe large corporations are responsible for most of the business carbon emissions in the UK. 

Finance as an enabler to ‘net zero’ transition

Only one in twenty (5%) smaller businesses say reducing their carbon footprint and environmental impact is their number one priority for 2022. More than a third (35%) cited costs as a barrier to reducing their carbon emissions, particularly upfront capital costs (21%). 

So far, 11% of the smaller business population – equating to around 700,000 businesses in the UK – have accessed external finance, in the form of loans or equity, to support ‘net zero’ actions, with 22% – equivalent to around 1.3 million businesses – saying they are prepared to access external finance to support ‘net zero’ actions in the next five years.

What help do businesses need to reduce their carbon footprint?

Over three in five (61%) say they would find more information and advice about taking action to measure and reduce their business’ carbon emissions helpful, with over half (53%) of those wanting advice on measuring their business’ carbon footprint and a similar proportion (51%) wanting information to help work out if reducing carbon emissions makes financial sense for their business.

Nearly half (44%) of those surveyed don’t know where to get information on reducing their carbon emissions and how best to approach related commercial or financial opportunities. 

How can Enexus Energy help?

Enexus Energy develops bespoke, innovative strategies to optimise the way your business purchases, generates and consumes energy.

We can help you take proactive measures for your 2022 business energy contracts. We can track the market on your behalf, source the very best prices and suggest alternative contract structures to ensure you buy energy in the most cost-effective way. We can also help you reduce consumption and guide you to lasting savings on your energy costs. 

To see how we can help, please get in touch:

Email: info@enexusenergy.co.uk

Tel: 01253 966 960


Dan Serghi

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