SOTA Review

How Can SMEs Contribute to Net Zero?: An Evidence Review

ERC SOTA Review No 51

Associated Themes
  • Business Growth
  • Innovation

In 2019, the UK Government and the devolved administrations committed to achieving the target of Net Zero[1] by 2050, based on the recommendations of the UK’s formal advisory body (ComIn 2019, the UK Government and the devolved administrations committed to achieving the target of Net Zero[1] by 2050, based on the recommendations of the UK’s formal advisory body (Committee on Climate Change, 2020).  It is now widely recognised that this will require major reductions in the carbon emissions of the general SME population.  There are more than 5.9 million small and medium-sized enterprises in the four nations, which employ 16.8 million people and account for an estimated £2.3 trillion in turnover (approximately 52% of the total for UK private sector businesses) (BEIS, 2020).  While the environmental footprints of individual firms may appear relatively insignificant, it is not possible to ignore the aggregate impact of such a large component of our economic landscape.

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