Research by Veolia shows that less than a third of UK businesses have a strategy for reaching carbon neutrality, despite growing environmental concerns. Plus, 42% of UK businesses are feeling overwhelmed by the steps they need to take to reach this goal.
The survey by YouGov on behalf of Veolia, of over 1,000 senior business decision makers, found that less than a third (29%) of UK businesses have a strategy for reaching carbon net zero. However, more than half of larger companies (250+ employees) surveyed (52%) had a net zero strategy and 61% 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%) for businesses with a net zero strategy trying to meet their carbon targets, with reputation second (60%). Despite low numbers committing to a carbon net zero strategy, 80% of those who did are very confident of achieving their goals.
Further key points:
- Investment (40%) and Government legislation (39%) were the most popular types of support businesses with a net zero strategy would like to see to reach their carbon targets. 12% said they did not need any external support.
- 56% of those businesses with a net zero strategy have set a budget for their carbon strategy
- 40% of UK businesses surveyed are currently employing third parties for carbon offsetting practices
Gavin Graveson, Senior Executive Vice President 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.”
“In the wake of COP26, 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.”
Veolia is supporting 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. The total sample size was 1022 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th – 25th October 2021. The survey was carried out online and the figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size.
Sustainability and the road to net zero ranked #8 amongst the prevailing challenges facing family business owners across the UK in the Family Business United 2021 survey, Determining the Family Business Agenda. The report looked at the issues around the sustainability agenda in more detail. Download a complimentary copy of the report here