Online, Saves Time

What is ‘Net Zero’

Net Zero refers to the state in which a business has reduced their carbon emissions to the absolute minimum and offset or removed whatever emissions still remain.

How to achieve Net Zero

For a business to achieve Net Zero, a Carbon Reduction Plan must be in place, showing how I will work towards to reducing its carbon footprint to the absolute minimum.

To calculate a business’ carbon footprint, emissions from al fuels, electric, supply chains, business travel, waste, deliveries coming in, deliveries going out, commuting and home working must be included.

What is a Carbon Footprint?

The term ‘carbon footprint’ refers to the definition and measurement of the impact on the environment that the activities of a person or business have. In very general terms, the more energy that is used by a person or a business, the bigger their carbon footprint will be.

More technically, a carbon footprint is often defined as the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions created by a person, a business, an event or the manufacture of a product. A carbon footprint is generally measured as the carbon dioxide equivalent of the emissions generated.

A business does not necessarily need to know the size of its carbon footprint to start making energy-saving measures. There are many obvious ways of reducing emissions and reducing energy bills that can be simply measured in other ways. However, by measuring a carbon footprint and understanding how it is calculated, we can better understand the way in which our activities contribute to carbon emissions and how we might reduce them.

It is a relatively straightforward process for a business to make a fairly accurate calculation of its carbon footprint. Measuring a carbon footprint is often seen as an essential starting point in any energy-saving process. Without knowing where we have started, we cannot fully measure the effectiveness of the actions we have taken.

Why should my business get involved?

We are asking everyone who runs a business in Merthyr Tydfil to consider ways in which their business can help tackle climate change. Reducing the amount of energy that a business uses leads to a lower carbon footprint with less carbon emissions. Reducing carbon emissions will help Merthyr Tydfil to achieve its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.

When a business reduces its carbon emissions it’s not only good for the environment, but it offers tremendous potential for the business too. Cutting carbon emissions can result in business benefits such as:

  • Reduced energy bills
  • Cost savings
  • Improved cash flow
  • Increased profitability
  • Increased revenue
  • Competitive advantage
  • Improved green credentials
  • Improved brand image
  • Reduced exposure to future energy price rises
  • Attracting and retaining the right quality of staff
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Ability to win new contracts, especially with the public sector
  • Contributing to a reduced carbon footprint for Merthyr Tydfil and wider benefits to society

How can my business get involved

In order to help businesses get involved in assessing their energy use and energy reduction we have produced a Carbon measurement ‘toolkit’.

The Toolkit helps you calculate your carbon footprint and acts as a signpost to some of the detailed information that already exists on the internet.

The information required includes:

  • Energy consumption – Gas & Electric for 12 previous 12 months
  • Company Vehicles
  • Supply chain
  • Deliveries you make and receive
  • Waste
  • Business travel
  • Commuting

The websites we are recommending are either those of recognised government departments or the websites of organisations (such as the Carbon Trust) that are collaborations between the government and other agencies. The information provided by these organisations is free at the point of use – although the Carbon Trust does ask businesses to register with them before using their information.

As an internet search will reveal, other websites and other information is available and much of it is extremely useful, but often it is provided by commercial organisations who may (or may not) charge for services at some point.

Getting started

A recommended starting point is the SME Guide to Energy Efficiency.

This booklet is produced by the Department for Energy and Climate Change, and introduces the topic of energy efficiency in the workplace and takes you through a number of steps that can help reduce energy use. The guide ranges from basic and occasionally obvious ways of reducing energy consumption to more sophisticated measures that might take more planning and time to implement. As the guide states: ‘There are lots of simple, straightforward actions you can take that won’t cost you anything and will start saving you money straight away. You may be doing some of these things already, while others might be completely new ideas.’

The guide provides a number of interesting and perhaps startling facts, for example:

Heating costs increase by approximately 8% for every 1 degree C. increase. So turning down your heating by 2 degrees would save £140 on a £1000 electricity bill’

There are also case studies that illustrate how quite measurable savings can be made with simple ideas:

A market research company has installed timer switches to turn off its two watercoolers out-of-hours, saving £144 a year (paying back the investment in 35 days)’

View the SME Guide to Energy Efficiency from the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Another useful guide is produced by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and they have prepared a Small Business User Guide.

This publication also takes a comprehensive look at the various areas where businesses might save energy by focusing on:

  • Electricity and gas use
  • Waste disposal and recycling
  • Business travel
  • Owned or controlled vehicles
  • Employee business travel
  • Staff commuting

The publication also suggests ways in which energy-saving schemes can be measured. It is important that energy savings can be measured in order to assess the effectiveness of the actions taken. The guide sets out ways in which impact can be measured and reported.

View the Small Business User Guide published by DEFRA. This guide also suggests further websites that provide additional information and guidance.

Measuring a carbon footprint

We have provided a carbon footprint calculator.

Use this free service to start your journey towards a more sustainable future!

Simply click the link below, answer a few quick questions and we’ll do the rest.

Try today and get access to:

  • Carbon Footprint
  • Scope 1 (all)
  • Scope 2 (all)
  • Scope 3 (business travel, waste, deliveries in, deliveries out, commuting & work from home)
  • Forum support

Please see link below to access the Carbon measurement Toolkit.

Note that other toolkits are available online.

Carbon Footprint Measure Toolkit:   https://app.enistic.com/login/smeSignUp.php

A Carbon Reduction Plan will be produced and emailed to you.

This toolkit calculates your Carbon Footprint and generates a Carbon Reduction Plan for your business.

Simply input your company data and the platform will generate a comprehensive report to show you where and how you can reduce your carbon emissions.

This report will form part of your application for any decarbonisation grants.

Lower costs and carbon emissions

Save money by being more energy efficient. Our toolkit calculates your carbon footprint and recommends energy-saving practices, like investment in renewable energy sources and waste reduction strategies. This efficiency will help you use less energy and lower operational costs in the long-term.

Costs shouldn’t be a barrier to acting against climate change. In fact, cutting your carbon emissions should have a positive return on investment.

We provide you with a plan on how to cut energy costs and increase efficiency so you can save time and money in the future.

A member of the team will be contact shortly to discuss your report.

Additional advice and further useful links

GOV.UK website – Guidance on waste and environmental impact for businesses

Business waste and environmental impact - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Environmental Taxes, reliefs and schemes for businesses – Environmental taxes, reliefs and schemes for businesses: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) You may get reliefs or be exempt from some taxes, for example, if you use a lot of energy because of the nature of your business, you’re a small business that doesn’t use much energy, or you buy energy-efficient technology for your business.

Carbon Trust Climate Action Plans & Business Sustainability | The Carbon Trust The Carbon Trust was established in 2001 as a collaboration between the government and businesses in the UK. The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit private company limited by guarantee. Its stated mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.

The Carbon Trust also offers wider reading and additional advice on energy saving. It has produced the Better Business Guide to Energy Saving. This also is a good starting point for businesses that are new to energy saving.  The document is a comprehensive 21-page guide.

WRAP – WRAP - The Climate Crisis: Act Now Provides sources of funding, advice and tools to help businesses reap the benefits of reducing waste, developing sustainable products and using resources in an efficient way.

NetRegs – Sector-specific environmental guidance for businesses

Environment Agency Environment Agency - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) ISO 14001 – The international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system (EMS). It provides a framework that a business can follow to set up an effective environmental management system.

DEFRA Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)