How much could your business save? Find out now!
Or, you can call us on: 0800 411 8830

Business energy: UK SMEs unprepared for low carbon future


A transition to a low carbon economy is now inevitable but a new study shows many UK businesses are unprepared for the inescapable implications. What can SMEs do to ready themselves?

UK business leaders are struggling to adapt to a low carbon economy, finds new research from Aston University, despite obligations to do so.

Low motivation is a major contributor to the failure to adapt, with the survey finding that nearly 80% of business leaders are just not that bothered about climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy: more than a third (38%) do not see it as a concern, while another 41% think it merely a minor concern.

More encouragingly, two thirds (66%) of business leaders believe their business has a responsibility to do something about climate change and support the transition to a low carbon economy. But few have taken action: only 7% have adapted their corporate strategy and future business plans to accommodate the issue. A further 16% have plans to make significant changes, while 32% say their business is not adapting its plans at all.

Professor Dame Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, said, “Climate change is perhaps the biggest challenge facing the world today [but] at present businesses are not necessarily prepared and equipped to respond to the challenge.”

Climate change mitigation

How can SMEs actually engage with the coming low carbon economy? Surprisingly, Aston suggested hiring students could be best way to embed knowledge of climate change. However, the survey again uncovered apathy in this area: 59% of businesses say they do not require new recruits to have any knowledge or understanding of the subject.

That could be shortsighted, as Ben Wielgus, Associate Director of  Sustainability Services at KPMG, pointed out: “I believe that these [climate change] megaforces are undoubtedly going to change the way business and society works and the most successful companies will hire the best graduates who understand and can adapt to this changing agenda.”

As an added bonus, salaries for these generally younger employees can be very competitive, especially if they are initially taken on as an apprentice (see our guide to apprenticeship for SMEs here).

Coming from the other direction, awareness of climate change issues can be helpful in attracting the young workers best placed to address the challenges of climate change: 19% of students say it is important that any future employer takes the low carbon economy seriousl (see our guide to recruiting for SMEs).

Compare business electricity

A practical but straightforward way to move into the low carbon future is getting your business electricity from low carbon, renewable sources. Perceptions of green business energy as expensive are outdated. With the UK now getting a substantial proportion of its business electricity from renewable generation, green business energy prices can be very competitive if you shop around.

If you don’t have time to compare business electricity suppliers yourself, the no-obligation business electricity comparisons that our SME experts offer can include a variable amount of green energy.

Just 20 minutes is enough for us to give you a free business electricity comparison and switch you to a new supplier so give us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form) now.

Our dedicated page has lots more information about business electricity.

 

Related Articles

the arguments for and against fracking

Energy News 24/03/2017

Check out our weekly round up of the stories that have been making the headlines in the energy world over the ...

Read More
Business Brexit update

Brexit Small Business Update

Worried about Brexit or couldn't care less? We tell you what the next steps are, and what you should do to pre...

Read More
Power Plant Image

Energy News – 17/03/2017

Want to know what stories are making waves in the energy industry this week? Here are the big stories from the...

Read More
Excellent, 9.7 / 10

Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!

"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"

This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017

Quick & Easy

"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."

This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017

Great Service

"I am very happy with Aaron's service. He has helped me save over £1000 a year on my businesses energy costs."

This review was posted by R Thomas on the 21st of March 2017

So helpful and quick

"Prompt advice and help from Ashley. I hadn't realised changing energy suppliers could be so easy and quick. Thanks so much. Will definitely recommend!"

This review was posted by charlotte on the 21st of March 2017

Easy and stress free

"I hate this time but f year when it's time to renew my electricity. I decided to use a comparison site this time round and never looked back. My advisor (Aaron Gallagher) was polite and knowledgable and efficiently changed my business."

This review was posted by Kevin on the 21st of March 2017