What businesses and organisations can do
Join others businesses across Swindon who are already taking action to reduce their emissions.
No matter how small your organisation or what industry you’re in, your commitment could make a real difference.
Many green actions pay for themselves. For example, data suggests many businesses can make back the cost of insulating their buildings within just a year. Acting on climate can also put you ahead of the pack, showing green credentials is increasingly a part of procurement requirements. Data shows that greener businesses are likely to appeal to the ever-growing numbers of consumers who care about the environment.
The journey to net zero for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
This free introductory guide (March 2022) from the Carbon Trust covers:
- What does net zero mean?
- What is a carbon footprint?
- What are the drivers to achieving net zero?
- Carbon reduction opportunities for SMEs
- Offsetting and greenhouse gas removals
- Future considerations for SMEs
- Communicating commitments
Although no two journeys towards sustainability look the same, there are a few things your organisation can start to consider to help you reduce your greenhouse gas emissions:
- Find business energy efficiency grants and schemes
- Install your own renewable electricity or heating
- Get expert help to review your vehicle fleet and identify opportunities to reduce emissions, fuel costs and expenditure
- Introduce a cycle to work scheme
- Insulate your buildings
- Minimise the waste from your products and packaging
- Does your business offer refills of water, coffee, groceries or lunch? Get listed on the Refill app to help your customers reduce packaging
- Switch to LED bulbs
- Install a smart meter
- Talk to your suppliers
- Electrify your vehicle fleet
- Offset the carbon you can’t reduce
Find out more at the SME Climate Hub.
More tools and resources
- The SME Climate Hub and Oxford University have partnered together to produce a suite of resources to help SMEs reduce their carbon emissions
- Get involved in Business in the Community's Challenge 2030 initiative and access webinars and other useful resources
- More tools and resources are signposted by Business West
- The Federation of Small Businesses has created a sustainability hub to help small businesses shrink their carbon footprint
- Visit the SWLEP Growth Hub’s Sustainable Business portal for local news and events
- 30 practical actions for small retailers and hospitality businesses
- Promote the Swindon walking and cycle maps, local cycling events and journey planner provided by Swindon Travel Choices, within your organisation
Apply for a national financial support scheme
Schemes currently available include:
- Workplace Charging Scheme. Open to businesses, charities and public sector organisations that meet the applicant and site eligibility criteria. The grant covers up to 75% of the total costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle chargepoints (inclusive of VAT), capped at a maximum of £350 per socket and 40 sockets across all sites per applicant.
- Low-emission vehicles eligible for a plug-in grant. Some types of low-emission vehicles are eligible for a grant from the government, so that you can buy them more cheaply. You do not apply for the grant. The seller includes it as a discount in the purchase price.
- Cycle to Work Scheme. Employees give up some of their income (salary sacrifice), in return for hiring bikes and cycling equipment. Any size business can operate a cycle to work scheme.
- Capital allowances claim scheme. You can claim enhanced capital allowances (a type of first year allowances) for buying energy and water-efficient equipment for your business. This includes some cars with low CO2 emissions, energy saving equipment, water saving equipment, gas, biogas and hydrogen refuelling equipment and new zero-emission goods vehicles. You can claim on your tax return
Get free carbon saving advice
Free carbon-saving advice and grant funding is available from Target 2030, a Government initiative offering eligible SMEs across Swindon a free energy survey and grants of up to £60,000. This is for energy-saving improvements like solar panels, lighting, heating and cooling systems and new equipment.
To find out more, read this guide and watch the video below:
Speak to your bank or accountant about tailored green business finance
Many banks have specialised loans that can be used specifically for green improvements such as installing renewable energy systems or improving energy efficiency.
Get inspired and inspire others
Has your organisation got any climate change success stories you want to share with other Swindon businesses to help inspire and motivate others?
We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org.