ScottishPower’s Andrew Ward Says SMEs Play Big Role in Achieving Net Zero

by | Aug 12, 2021

If we want to achieve the UK’s climate goal for 2050, Andrew Ward, the CEO of UK Retail at ScottishPower, said that all businesses have a critical contribution to make. Because the UK’s small businesses make up 99 per cent of all the nation’s enterprises, they can have a significant impact in reaching the target of net zero emissions by 2050. As a by-product, many of the changes that contribute towards reducing a business’s carbon footprint can also play a part in reducing the small business electricity prices paid. And the more a company can save on its business electricity, the more money it has to invest in its future success.

In the meantime, according to Andrew Ward, everyone has a role to play in contributing to the government’s ambitious net zero goals. From individuals to small and large businesses, everyone in the UK can pitch in. Every contribution they make can create change within their sphere of influence if environmentally-friendly behaviours are introduced. And as small businesses make up such a critical part of the UK’s economy, they are encouraged to lead the way.

The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a campaign, Together for our Planet “Business Climate Leaders”. Supported by ScottishPower, this campaign will encourage businesses across the UK to take the pledge to cut emissions while offering them the tools to grow, develop and adapt to new opportunities.

ScottishPower, one of the most prominent gas and power providers in the UK, is focused on delivering an all-electric future. The company is planning to install more vehicle chargers on the streets and looking to increase the visibility of smart meters and heat pumps in homes and businesses. It is also utilising wind and solar energy whenever it can to provide power and reduce carbon emissions.

The company’s goals also include greater use of renewable energy and the replacement of gas heating systems in homes with the latest heat pump technology. All these initiatives are geared towards reducing both domestic and small business energy prices across the country.

Ward said the contributions they’re encouraging small businesses to make do not have to be massive. Simply making the switch to energy-saving light bulbs and opting for an electric vehicle to replace a petrol or diesel model can contribute significantly to the overall goal.

These changes also offer benefits to businesses, helping them grow and create new jobs, for example. Investors are likely to show greater interest in companies ahead of the game in environmental terms. Those businesses will also reduce their running costs, saving them money over the long term.

Ward adds that customers are also attracted to businesses with environmentally friendly appeal, which gives them a competitive advantage over their rivals.

The Business Climate Hub has been developed as a part of the campaign to inspire business owners to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. It offers practical tools, advice, and resources that will teach companies to better understand their emissions and create a plan to reduce them altogether.

Small businesses that have taken the pledge will become climate leaders and contribute a great deal towards inspiring their fellow companies to take a step towards positive action for the environment. Ward believes that communities overall will thrive in the long run as a result of these small steps.

He also said that, in the efforts to transition to a greener and cleaner future, small businesses would become the backbone of all the country’s efforts in fighting climate change.

In six months’ time, the Climate Change Conference (COP26) will be held in Glasgow, and there is no better time than now to demonstrate how everyone is teaming up to make the world a better planet for future generations.

Reaching Net Zero

The UK Government and its devolved administrations committed in 2019 to the target of net zero goals as recommended by the Climate Change Committee. Meeting this bid to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will require massive reformation across the economy.

Some of the changes needing to be made include reducing the demand for energy across the economy, encouraging society to choose alternatives to carbon-intensive activities, the electrification of transport and heating, developing a hydrogen economy to service the demands of industrial processes, and creating a carbon capture and storage industry.

It’s intended that every level of the UK Government will team up to achieve all these changes to ensure a well-managed transition, which will improve lives across the country. Implemented plans will result in a better environment, fewer climate risks, and better physical and mental health for the community.

By 2020, UK emissions were 48% below 1990 levels, which was reflective of the Covid-19 lockdowns’ effects. But this drop is not expected to be permanent.

The UK met the targets laid down in the first and second carbon budgets, which covered the years 2008 to 2017. The third carbon budget, covering 2018 to 2022, is also set to be met. However, it is projected that it will fail to meet the targets set in the fourth carbon budget (2023 to 2027), as well as its fifth (2028 to 2032).

This is in part because these budgets were set against a previous target of an 80% reduction, which has since been updated to a 100% reduction by 2050. In this respect, progress needs to be accelerated.

The Government’s 2021 Progress Report includes:

  • Implementing a Net Zero Test that would ensure all Government policies are compatible with UK climate targets
  • Developing an effective Heat and Building Strategy for consumers
  • Quick delivery of the current plans on hydrogen, aviation, surface transport, food, and biomass, which were delayed by the pandemic
  • Strengthening of the plans for the power sector, the North Sea, peat, energy from waste, and industrial decarbonisation
  • The tackling of large-scale cross-cutting in public engagement, local delivery, and fair funding

Save Money and Increase Efficiency

Business electricity is one of the most important considerations for any enterprise in any industry. It is critical to companies’ fulfilment of orders, for talking to customers, and for manufacturing products. But another primary consideration that needs to be made is how to save money and maximise the utility of those funds.

Smarter Business can help you make the most of your business’s energy usage. We have dedicated professional consultants who can find various means for you to save money in many different aspects of your business.

We can also provide you with an effective plan to save on utilities by comparing quotes from our pool of trusted suppliers. Call us on 01444 220060 or email us at info@smarterbusiness.co.uk to increase your business’s energy efficiency today!

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