Oxfordshire SMEs to Net Zero

As communities across the world continue to grapple with the environmental challenges brought about by climate change, more and more small businesses in Oxfordshire are looking to join the global drive towards net zero emissions.

But what does this mean, and why is it so important? Put simply, achieving net zero means that a business has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions to the point where they are balanced by the amount removed from the atmosphere. This is an important goal not just for the environment, but also for businesses’ bottom lines and long-term viability.

To achieve net zero, however, can seem like a daunting task for SMEs. That’s why, working in collaboration with partners, we’re here to:

  • Help businesses understand what Net Zero means and why it is important to them
  • De-mystify the process
  • Provide a basic toolkit
  • Support and inspire businesses be able to take the first steps or continue on their journey

Our partners

UK SME Climate Hub

The SME Climate Hub is a non-profit global initiative that empowers small to medium sized companies to take climate action and build resilient businesses for the future.

The Hub is an initiative of the We Mean Business Coalition, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative and the United Nations Race to Zero campaign in collaboration with Normative and the Net Zero team at Oxford University.

Taking positive action for the planet

There are many ways for businesses to achieve Net Zero, and the most effective approach will vary depending on the sector and size of the organisation. However, common actions that businesses can take to reduce their emissions include improving energy efficiency, switching to low-carbon energy sources and where possible, investing in clean technologies.

Here are some common questions businesses might be asking themselves about Net Zero:

What do we mean by Net Zero?

Net Zero is a UK government policy which sets the target for all businesses to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. The policy was first announced in October 2018, and provides a framework for organisations to reduce their emissions.

Further reading can be found on IEA’s website here.

What are the business benefits of Net Zero?

A future with where buildings, communities and cities have zero emissions is ultimately a brighter future for the environment and for businesses.

Net Zero buildings, services and products are more energy efficient thanks to using renewable energy sources, which saves money on utility costs and helps reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

There are also the emotional and societal benefits that come with this transition, where businesses can become icons of sustainability and climate change mitigation in their local community, region and beyond.

What are the challenges of achieving Net Zero?

One of the challenges businesses face in achieving Net Zero is reducing energy consumption. In order to achieve Net Zero, it’s important to reduce energy demand through efficient design and use.

Businesses can also invest in green infrastructure such as solar panels and wind turbines. Another challenge businesses face is obtaining renewable energy sources, which can be expensive. However, there are a number of subsidies and incentives available to help businesses make the switch to renewables.

Take a look at Ofgem’s website for a comprehensive guide.

Net Zero Heroes

“While some factors are outside of local control, businesses, policy makers and residents in Oxfordshire have a crucial role to play in innovating, investing, strategising and implementing the changes needed for net-zero.”


Business Support Tool

Speak to us for 1:1 Net Zero support