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Five net zero stats and what they mean for your business

13 October 2023

Statistics are excellent means of conveying the reality of a situation and climate change is no different. Following the Paris Agreement, the UK government delivered a commitment to reach net zero by 2050, a recent report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that emissions in the UK had increased in 2022. Does this mean we’re going in the wrong direction in our transition to reach net zero by 2050? We’ve included details of that alongside another four recent stats that tell the story of the current landscape for UK businesses. We’ve also broken down what each one means for yours.

 UK greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2% 

Total emissions in the UK actually increased in 2022, the ONS recently reported a 2% increase on 2021's figures. The stat does need some context; both 2020 and 2021 resulted in a more significant reduction than normal due to the lockdown restrictions. When taking this into consideration the story is slightly different; emissions are down 7% compared to 2019. 

That said, we will need to make better progress over the next 26 years as a 7% decrease over the past three won’t be enough to deliver on the promise. This puts pressure on everyone, businesses included, to step up and do more on their carbon reduction journeys. 

Poor energy efficiency costs UK businesses £6 billion a year 

Beyond the responsibility of needing to change, excessive use of energy is costing the UK economy significantly. A recent report by Carbon Connect found the true cost of poor use of energy was £6 billion a year, motivation for your business to look to reduce emissions. 

When helping businesses to reduce energy usage, we typically deliver 12% savings which is good for the environment and good for your balance sheet.

The amount of businesses taking action has increased from 54% to 70%

Now for some good news; more businesses are taking direct action from another ONS report. In 2021, that figure was marginally more than half (54%) whereas now it’s close to three quarters (70%). If you’re part of that big number then kudos, but, if you are yet to take action, you mustn’t be left behind by your competition.

1 in 10 businesses aren’t carbon reporting properly 

That direct action can be improved as very few businesses, at the end of 2022 just 10% reported that they were doing carbon reporting effectively. These were the findings from the Boston Research Group and progress is painfully slow too; in 2021 that number was 9%. 

A lack of complete accuracy is down to several reasons (we wrote about the top challenges with carbon accounting) but it presents an opportunity for those doing it properly. If you are in the 10% this puts you at a considerable advantage over your competition while opening you up to the other  

Wind and solar could deliver 198% of the energy needed in the UK by 2050 

The final stat is another cause for optimism. Some experts have speculated doubt that renewable energy won’t be enough to support the UK’s need to reach net zero emissions. Those fears have, however, been put to bed by a recent study from Oxford University, which has found that 198% of the energy needed could be generated by wind and solar; almost double the full total. 

So whether you are looking to use renewable energy within your portfolio (which can even benefit SMEs) or think you can do your own through on-site generation, feasibility is no longer an issue. If you’re looking to use renewables as part of a strategy of emission reduction or want to discuss anything else net zero related, book a call with one of our specialists through the form below.

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Book a meeting with one of our net zero experts for more information on how your business can reduce its emissions.

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Please call our team on 0345 634 9500 or email us at info@tridentutilities.co.uk.