Former UK energy minister, Chris Skidmore MP, has published his Net Zero Review, outlining the economic opportunities it could create for the UK. Coggin Sustainable Office Solutions says it’s pleased to see the Review’s proposals aimed at providing businesses with the support they need to go green.
The UK’s leadership on tackling climate change has delivered real change at home and led to a global transformation – but more should be done to reap the economic benefits that presents, according to Chris Skidmore MP.
Mission Zero, his Net Zero Review, makes 129 recommendations covering areas including the greater role that business can be supported to play, making better use of infrastructure, and delivering more energy efficient homes.
Together, the recommendations are designed to maximise economic investment, opportunities and jobs – all while working towards achieving legally binding targets to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
He urges ministers to grasp the ‘historic opportunity’, highlighting how the government’s Net Zero Strategy offers the right direction, and the right policies to do so.
His proposals include reviewing incentives for investment in decarbonisation, including via the tax system, and launching a Help to Grow Green campaign offering information and advice to small businesses so they can plan and invest in the transition to a net zero economy.
Sam Coggin, director at Coggin Sustainable Office Furniture, welcomes the Review’s proposals on providing small businesses with greater support. Based near Garstang, his firm helps divert redundant office furniture away from landfill either by repairing and repurposing desks and chairs to resell as better than new, or by breaking down furniture that is unfit for reuse into material form such as metal, plastic, wood and foam for recycling. In recent years it’s enabled its clients to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 4.5 million tonnes.
“We know from our own experiences that smaller businesses are struggling with the concept of net zero, never mind the practicalities of it,” said Sam.
“A survey by the British Business Bank suggests that the biggest barriers to action on net zero among smaller UK businesses relate to concerns about costs (35% of respondents) and feasibility (32%).
“It’s obvious that SME business owners and managers need more help getting to grips with what net zero is, how it will affect them, and the role they have in shifting to a net zero UK, so it’s good to see this recognised in the Review and proposals for extra support being called for.”
Babs Murphy, chief executive at the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce agrees. She said: “The move to a greener economy will be challenging, but it will also continue to create business opportunities too.
“Whether that’s in developing next generation energy generating and saving technologies, emissions abatement, training, or consultancy, new demands will need to be satisfied and new markets will open up.
“The key is to make sure that smaller businesses, including here in Lancashire, are given the support they need to access these opportunities while making changes to address their own emissions. I’m pleased that the Net Zero Review introduces proposals for launching a ‘Help to Grow Green’ campaign that will offer information and support to SMEs.”