Supporting SMEs to decarbonise
28th September 2023
Some businesses find it challenging to assign resources to meet their net zero goals. In this blog, Matt Hatcher from NatWest, one of our Climate Action Programme sponsors, highlights the free interactive tools on offer through their Climate Hub and shares his top tips for businesses looking to embark on their climate journey.
As Director of NatWest’s Commercial Bank, I have the pleasure of leading a team of 10 managers across the West of England, working with SMEs across a range of industries. When it comes to climate action, we understand that many businesses are finding it challenging to reduce emissions, and that limited resources combined with multiple priorities can make it hard to understand where to focus efforts.
Last year, we launched Climate Support for businesses, to support all UK businesses (not just our customers) with free interactive tools that can help:
- Build a clear picture of their carbon footprint and how to reduce it
- Understand where they can have the greatest impact
- Identify and access funding opportunities
- Find resources to support them on their climate journey
All of the tools have been designed so they are easy and straightforward for your whole team to use. Carbon Planner and Electric Vehicle (EV) Planner are two great examples of what’s on offer.
Gathering and analysing your business’s carbon data can be a complex and time-consuming task. However, by inputting your information into Carbon Planner, you can get an instant and clear picture of your carbon footprint.
Developed by Climate Leaders Group member, Spherics (now Sage Earth), Carbon Planner will help you and your team set and manage climate goals, identify potential cost and carbon savings, and what payback you can expect from your investments.
Electric vehicles can make a huge impact on reducing emissions and costs. However, it can be difficult to determine which vehicles will best meet the needs of your business and employees, and where you will need to invest in infrastructure to make the transition.
With EV Planner, all your employees need to do is complete a brief driver survey, and the tool will present the best vehicles for your business, the charging point locations and investment required, and what you can expect in terms of potential carbon and cost savings.
Developed by Diode, EV Planner can also signpost you to relevant resources and funding opportunities.
We are working collaboratively to create more resources and tools for UK businesses, and there are a few in the pipeline that will help businesses identify how to reduce energy costs. We have recently partnered with AbSolar whose technology captures the solar potential of your premises remotely and gives you an estimate of savings and return on investment. We have a few more in the pipeline so watch this space!
Although working on climate can be tough, particularly if you don’t have the resources or financial support to move at the pace you want, it is often a no-regrets move. Here are a few of my top tips for businesses looking to get started on their climate action journey:
- Carbon footprint – it’s tough to know where to focus your efforts, so if you’re unable to assign resources to build your carbon footprint, check out Carbon Planner, and of course the range of free resources available through the Climate Action Programme.
- People – if you have people in your business who are actively interested in climate action, get them involved and signpost them to the free tools on offer. It’s likely they’ll become an important champion for your work across the business and help bring the rest of your team on the journey.
- Learn from others – one of the reasons we chose to come on board as a partner for the Climate Action Programme, was the peer-to-peer learning opportunities on offer for businesses of all sizes. Learning from other businesses makes working on climate feel far less overwhelming.
To access the range of free tools available through NatWest Climate Support visit www.natwest.com/business/green-banking
Find out more about the resources, events and peer-to-peer learning opportunities on offer through the Climate Action Programme here