Small businesses account for fifth of carbon emissions

Small businesses 'underestimate the pollution they create'

A fifth of British carbon emissions come from small businesses, according to new research.

The study, conducted by the Carbon Trust, shows that many small businesses underestimate how much pollution they create, with more than a third (38%) of small businesses believing they are responsible for under 10% of total UK emissions.

Equally, small businesses are unaware of how much they can save by making their business environmentally friendly. Nearly a quarter believe that they can only save between 1-4% on their energy bills, whilst the national average stands at a 10% saving.

This lack of action is said to be preventing small businesses from having a share in a potential £3bn in energy savings.

Small businesses blame their lack of action on the fact that they simply do not have the time or expertise to implement carbon reduction measures. Almost all of respondents (93%) said that they did not measure their carbon emissions due to a lack of knowledge.

Of those who have measured their carbon emissions, over a third (37%) said that it was in order to increase their competitiveness in the market. 

Michael Rea, the Carbon Trust chief operating officer said: “This new research highlights the increasing awareness among SMEs of both the need to take action on climate change and the bottom line opportunities available through making low cost changes to their business.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

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