Bank campaign launched as businesses baffled by carbon jargon

The British Business Bank has launched a campaign to alert and encourage SMEs to make the most of the commercial benefits of investing in decarbonisation.

The bank’s #GreenToGrow campaign includes a new ‘Green Decoder’, an online guide co-created with Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, to help smaller businesses decipher the terminology surrounding decarbonisation.

Research commissioned by the bank shows that the majority of these SMEs don’t understand ‘carbon jargon’ with  three in four (74 per cent) baffled about how common environmental terms such as ‘net zero’, ‘carbon neutral’ and ‘carbon footprint’ apply to their businesses.

The Opinium survey of 1,000 senior decision makers in smaller businesses found more than half (54 per cent) believe the language, terminology and information around carbon emissions reduction are overcomplex.

‘Carbon jargon’ terms misunderstood by businesses include:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions: 87 per cent of businesses did not have a full understanding of the term and what it meant for their business
  • Decarbonisation: 78 per cent
  • Net zero: 74 per cent
  • Carbon neutral: 69 per cent
  • Carbon footprint: 59 per cent

Sixty-one per cent say they would find more information and advice about taking action to measure and reduce their business’ carbon emissions helpful, with over half (53 per cent) of those wanting advice on measuring their business’ carbon footprint.

A similar number wanted information to help work out if reducing carbon emissions makes financial sense for their business.

Forty-four per cent don’t know where to get information on reducing their carbon emissions and how best to approach related commercial or financial opportunities.

The British Business Bank’s online Finance Hub also provides a series of guides and information about sustainability issues and how smaller businesses can start their journey towards net zero.

Shanika Amarasekara, Chief Impact Officer, British Business Bank, said: “By helping decipher some of the terminology around decarbonisation the British Business Bank hopes to show smaller businesses that simple, incremental changes, such as switching off equipment when not in use can make a difference in their net zero transition.

“This will become an increasingly important businesses requirement. Given that many consumers now consider sustainability when they make a purchase, by becoming greener, smaller businesses can enhance their competitive edge and expand their customer base.”

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