Net zero business remains a distant objective according to a new survey that found 70 per cent of UK businesses do not have a net zero strategy in place.
Net zero business ambitions polled by YouGov revealed that less than a third of UK businesses have a strategy for reaching carbon neutrality despite growing environmental concerns. Almost half of UK businesses say they’re overwhelmed by the steps they need to take to reach this goal.
The survey of over 1,000 senior business decision makers by YouGov on behalf of Veolia found that less than a third (29 per cent) of UK businesses have a strategy for reaching carbon net zero. Net zero business ambitions are greater among larger companies (250+ employees) and over half of those surveyed (52 per cent) had a net zero strategy and 61 per cent of these also felt their reputation would be negatively affected if they failed to commit to achieving their carbon targets.
Positively, environmental concern was the biggest driver (72 per cent) for businesses with a net zero strategy trying to meet their carbon targets, with reputation second (60 per cent). Despite low numbers committing to a net zero business strategy, 80 per cent of those who did are very confident of achieving their goals.
Investment (40 per cent) and Government legislation (39 per cent) were the most popular types of support businesses with a net zero strategy would like to see to reach their carbon targets. 12 per cent said they did not need any external support. 56 per cent of those businesses with a net zero strategy have set a budget for their carbon strategy and 40 per cent of UK businesses surveyed are currently employing third parties for carbon offsetting practices in a bid to achieve net zero business.
Gavin Graveson, senior executive vp Veolia northern Europe zone said:
“Just over forty percent of UK businesses may feel overwhelmed by the steps they need to take to reach carbon neutrality, but every step businesses take makes a difference to our planet, protecting it for future generations.
“We need to see more industries commit to a robust strategy to reduce their environmental impact, whether that be through use of electric vehicles, cleaner energy supplies or reduced packaging. We need to work together, share expertise, innovate and research new sustainable solutions so carbon net zero can become a reality, rather than a goal.”
To support net zero business Veolia is helping customers to lower their carbon footprint by accurately measuring their current emissions and water use and finding sustainable solutions to reduce this. This tool is called Greenpath and shows businesses a range of different Veolia products and services which can decarbonise processes, reducing cost and climate impact.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1022 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size.