The role of business in addressing climate change will be a big talking point at COP 28 in November. For UK businesses that want to do their bit to protect the environment, there are already a range of financial incentives in place to encourage just that.
A green roadmap will be different for every business and probably won’t be achieved overnight, but even small steps can make a big difference. Here are five ways you could make your business more sustainable:
You may be able to access grants to make improvements to your premises, such as installing LEDs. If you’re a tenant, talk to your landlord and discuss what they’re changes willing to make.
Significant reductions can be achieved simply by turning off lights, computers and equipment when not in use or turning down heating and keeping your equipment maintained and efficient. Hold meetings online to cut travel emissions and investigate whether your waste can be recycled.
Shop around to see if you can source locally or switch to a provider with stronger green credentials.
Consider grouping multiple orders together or offering bulk deliveries and choose couriers committed to reducing climate change.
Appoint someone in your business to drive green initiatives, such as the cycle-to-work scheme. The cap on the value of bicycles and electric bicycles purchased through the scheme has now been removed.
It can be daunting to try to do all this yourself, but there’s plenty of guidance available online via organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors and the CBI. The potential benefits make doing your research well worthwhile.
For example, it’s reckoned a medium-sized business could reduce its water consumption by 3.9 million litres per year by using the right washroom technology.
Businesses can claim 100% first-year tax relief on the cost of energy-eﬃcient technology and equipment without eating into their annual investment allowance.
Many may be able to reduce the climate change levy they pay on electricity, gas and solid fuel by signing a climate change agreement (CCA). This can bring a discount of up to 90% on electricity bills and 65% on all other fuels – provided you improve your energy eﬃciency and cut energy use.
Other taxes and schemes to promote greener operations include:
- Landfill tax encourages businesses not to send waste to landfill sites.
- The plastic packaging tax is driving greater use of packaging made of recycled plastic.
- Property developers cleaning up contaminated land get up to 150% tax relief on the cost.
- UK emissions trading scheme allows businesses in energy-intensive industries to buy and sell greenhouse gas emission allowances to reduce their environmental impact.
For more on green taxes and reliefs, go to the Environmental taxes, reliefs and schemes for businesses page on the gov.uk site.
If you’re planning to minimise the environmental impact of your business, do talk with one of the Shipleys team to discuss the latest incentives and allowances.
Specific advice should be obtained before taking action, or refraining from taking action, in relation to this summary. If you would like advice or further information, please speak to your usual Shipleys contact.
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