28 Sep 2023
Less than 1% of small firms have benefitted from key local support schemes across England on net zero, according to research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Warwick Business School.
The research has raised concerns over the reach and accessibility of the programmes as the UK's 2050 target edges closer.
Small businesses also face future challenges due to the changing funding landscape for net zero business support in England. While local authorities emerge as the most common contributor, the European Regional Development Fund is no longer available due to Brexit.
The FSB recommends introducing a national 'Help to Green' scheme, consisting of an online hub of practical information on reducing energy usage and carbon emissions.
Richard Askew, FSB England Policy Unit Chair, said: 'Small businesses play a critical role in reaching net zero by 2050 and it's encouraging to see that many firms are taking steps to mitigate their impact on the environment – from installing basic measures such as LED lighting to becoming fully self-sufficient microgenerators.
'But reaching net zero is a complex process and there are still many small businesses that lack the money, resources and time to progress their decarbonising efforts.'