A new report examines how SMEs can contribute to the government’s carbon emissions 2020 targets and recommends a range of measures.
A new report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) titled “Making Sense of Going Green”, supports the government must include measures to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) cut carbon emissions through the upcoming Energy Security and Green Economy bill.
The report examines how SMEs can better contribute to the government's carbon emissions 2020 targets and recommends a range of measures; including expanding the government's current green loan scheme for small businesses and offering incentives for firms that improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.
The report from the FSB calls on the government to introduce a loan scheme for SMEs that would see banks, energy and construction firms pay the upfront costs of major building energy efficiency upgrades; encourage firms in the worst G-rated buildings to invest in obtaining an F-rating; and waive planned increases to business rates for firms that improve building energy efficiency.
The report states: 'The potential of the UK's 4.8 million small businesses to contribute to the fight against climate change and drive green economic growth […] must be harnessed when the government publishes its forthcoming non-domestic Green Deal and Energy bill,'
It also says that, according to research done by the Carbon Trust, if all UK businesses and public sector organisations undertook effective energy efficiency measures, they could save £3.6bn a year while cutting carbon emissions by 29 million tonnes.
The Welsh Assembly has just launched a package of measures to help SMEs make profits from renewable energy
The release of the report coincides with the launch by the Welsh Assembly of a package of measures to help SMEs make profits from renewable energy. Jane Davidson, the Welsh environment minister promised to help small and medium-sized renewable energy installation companies access interest-free loans to cover the cost of gaining professional accreditation under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).
The Renewable Energy Association welcomed the move as a positive step to encourage more firms and households to install microgeneration technologies and take advantage of the new feed-in tariff. Businesses and households can only access the feed-in tariff if they use renewable energy technologies and installers that have gained MCS certification. However, some firms have complained that the cost of gaining accreditation can be prohibitive for small businesses.