How can your business act, and secure net zero for the future

03 October 2023

How can your business act and secure net zero

In a tougher regulatory environment and growing pressure from stakeholders, a lot of businesses find themselves in survival mode and net zero plans are seemingly being pushed to the sidelines. The good news is there are actions that can be taken today to reduce energy costs while maintaining your net zero goals.

Let’s start by acknowledging the elephant in the room. The economic storm we endured this past year has been a struggle. Businesses have had to tackle rising energy prices, interest rates, inflation while navigating their eligibility for support through schemes like the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) and Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS).

Businesses are facing a tougher regulatory environment and growing pressure from stakeholders to push businesses to take more deliberate steps to net zero (36%). We surveyed 300 businesses to find out how they are planning to accelerate their net zero plans and despite the existing pressures, the mood among these businesses is optimistic.

Key Statistic: 36% of businesses face growing pressure
Key statistic: 43% say access to funds remains a challenge

As the clouds from the previous economic storm begin to pass, some businesses are sailing towards greener pastures. When encountering the turbulent seas from the current economic climate, many businesses are navigating the waves by adopting a renewed focus on delivering their net zero strategies. However, other businesses have dropped anchor on their sustainability journey, hesitant to move forward, whilst being rocked by waves.

No matter what ship you’re on, one thing is for certain. Businesses need to accelerate their net zero plans today to reap the maximum benefits for tomorrow. Here are the steps you can take today that can help your business survive today’s challenges and mitigate tomorrow’s risks.

Knowledge is Power

For businesses to take charge of their energy, they first need to understand is how much energy they’re using. Energy360 from British Gas is a powerful energy management platform designed to help businesses understand their energy consumption and save money on energy costs. 

All large UK businesses (over 250 employees) will need to report on greenhouse emissions in their annual reports and Energy360 Dataview can help with this. Our research shows that CO2 monitoring and reporting is a strong focus for businesses and a key activity that respondents have planned over the next 2-3 years (73%). The good news is that British Gas can supply this information to customers today.

When it comes to carbon reporting, most businesses are factoring Scope 1 and 2 reporting and compliance into their net zero strategies. When asked about the top risks they’re factoring into their decarbonisation plans, Scope 1 and 2 reporting and compliance was the top response - with 68% of respondents saying this is a key part of their net zero strategy.

Key statistic: 73% of businesses say CO2 will be a focus
Key statistic: 68% of businesses factor in Scope 1 and 2 reporting

Opportunity in Renewables

Another important step businesses are taking on their journey to net zero is changing to a renewable or zero-carbon energy supply. This is a huge opportunity that businesses should be capitalising on -  with clear fuel mixes, you’ll know exactly where your energy is coming from. And with a fixed-term agreement, your costs will be clear too. However, only one-fifth (20%) of businesses say they have already shifted to clean energy supply contracts. A further 68% say they plan to make the switch soon.

Businesses are also thinking about how they can generate their own energy. 73% of businesses plan to build onsite renewable energy generation technologies, like solar PV. If they were given extra budget, 21% of businesses said they would use it for onsite renewable generation.

Key statistic: 20% of businesses have shifted to clean energy
Key statistic: 73% plan to build onsite renewable energy technologies

Credibility is Key

When thinking about your business’s journey to net zero, you need to think about the legitimacy of the ship that will help get you there. You will need a credible supplier who can navigate you through the uncertain waters of the energy transition and reduce some of the complexity of your sustainability journey. 

Greenwashing is a legitimate concern for businesses. 60% of businesses identify greenwashing as a risk that influences their net zero strategies. That is why working with a transparent energy supplier is critical to avoiding this. British Gas is the largest of only three energy suppliers who have been certified by the Carbon Trust, a global team of more than 400 environmental sustainability experts, for their business renewable electricity products.

Key statistic: 60% of businesses identify greenwashing as a risk
Key statistic: 40% of firms’ claims could be misleading

Our comprehensive report will give you invaluable insight into how other businesses have adapted to the challenges of the current climate and will inform you of the steps that your business can take today to mitigate tomorrow’s risks.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within the British Gas Business Blog are those of the author alone and do not represent those of British Gas. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this blog are not guaranteed. British Gas accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright in the content within the British Gas Business Blog belongs to the authors of such content and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. See the Fuel mix used to generate our electricity. Read about making a complaint about your business energy.