Somerset Green Business Support
We are asking everyone who runs a business in Somerset 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 and reduced energy costs. Reducing carbon emissions will help Somerset to achieve its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.
To support businesses with this, we are developing a Somerset Green Business Support Scheme. It includes a Green Business Network, Green Business Grants and an energy efficiency support ‘Go Green Scheme’. There will also be a series of Greening Your Business workshops this autumn, jointly arranged with Somerset Chamber and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
What can my business do?
Organisations across Somerset are taking action to tackle climate change. There are many opportunities for businesses to reduce carbon emissions and lower energy costs. Improving energy efficiency has never been more important and taking action now can have long lasting benefits for Somerset, our businesses and supply chains.
Where to begin?
Six things you can do today to learn more about climate change, carbon emissions, net zero and start your sustainability journey to become a resilient business.
- Knowledge: Start by exploring this page and take a look at our green business support resources. It has information on reducing carbon, energy usage and costs, events and networking opportunities and business support from a range of organisations.
- Join an information and networking event: Sign-up to an online event, Lunch & Learn session, on-demand webinar or join a business breakfast to network with other businesses. We have listed some below – also refer to your local chamber of commerce, LinkedIn or Eventbrite for event details in your area.
- Understand your organisation’s carbon footprint: your organisation’s carbon footprint is a measure of the carbon emissions your organisation produces. Measuring it gives you a baseline from which to start reducing your organisation’s emissions. The Carbon Trust’s Carbon Footprint Calculator is designed specifically for SMEs to measure their corporate emissions (Scope 1 and 2). For general information on reducing your carbon footprint or get the basics in 30-seconds by visiting the Zero Carbon Business website Become a Net Zero Business.
- Make a pledge to reduce your carbon emissions with the SME Climate Commitment. Commit to reduce your carbon emissions with the SME Business Climate Hub. In return you receive free tools and resources and your business is listed on their website among the other Committed Businesses from across the world as part of the Race to Net Zero.
- Start to reduce your carbon emissions: take a look at the Business Climate Hub which highlights several steps businesses can take to cut their emissions starting today. The Carbon Trust’s SME specific guide introduces how SMEs can finance energy efficiency projects, which help reduce emissions and drive down business cost.
- Share your experiences with other businesses. Has your business cut energy costs and reduced carbon emissions? What were the challenges and opportunities? If you would be willing to share your experiences as a case study or part of a Green Business Network, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are another ten positive ways businesses can reduce their impact on the environment and climate change:
- Declare and Commit – set a pledge and commit to a plan.
- Measuring your emissions – understand your baseline and largest sources of emissions; examples of carbon calculators.
- Energy efficiency – reduce energy consumption, install energy efficiency measures and upgrade machinery.
- Renewable energy – use electricity from renewable sources and install renewable energy generation such as solar PV.
- Transport and commuting – consider flexible working and use of shared-cloud based technology. Promote low carbon travel options including cycling, walking or public transport.
- Transport and your fleet – transition to low carbon fleet options including EV vehicles.
- Sustainable waste practices – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover; circular economy principles and food waste.
- Biodiversity – produce a biodiversity strategy, provide wildlife habitat around your premises or sponsor others to do so on their own land.
- Staff and Customers – provide staff with Carbon Literacy Training and promote achievements to customers and suppliers.
- Explore business support – signposting to additional support and key websites.
UK Business Climate Hub
The Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has produced a toolkit for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to support the Business Climate Leaders campaign. The campaign is the latest phase of the government’s UK-wide Together For Our Planet campaign. It encourages everyone, including small businesses, to cut carbon emissions and help the UK get to net zero by 2050.
Projects, funding and support initiatives
Somerset Green Business Grants
Somerset Green Business Grants are available to support Somerset micro and SME businesses (up to 250 employees) to take forward measures to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 are available. Applicants will need 50% match funding for their project. Grants can be capital or revenue.
Applicants will also need an externally endorsed plan that should include a carbon or energy baseline and actions to reduce carbon emissions.
The grant scheme provides funding to businesses to:
- increase energy efficiencies and reduce energy costs
- decarbonise business practice, process and supply chains
- the ‘greening’ of work practices and staff behavioural or cultural change.
For further information please visit Funding and Grants for Business page.
Somerset Net Zero Business Support Providers
Go Green Scheme – empowering Somerset businesses to go greener
This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The Go Green Scheme, created by Somerset Council and Balanced Energy Ltd, launches October 2023. Go Green Scheme is a support service to empower businesses to embrace sustainability, reduce their carbon footprint, and join the movement towards a greener, cleaner environment.
Go Green can provide businesses with the tools, knowledge, and networks needed to take decisive action for the environment. It offers free energy audits and development of a sustainability plan.
Make a positive impact on your business and the environment by joining the Go Green Scheme today. Together we’ll create a sustainable, prosperous future for Somerset, one smart choice at a time.
Ready to take the first step towards sustainability and success? Contact us today.
For more information and to register, visit the Go Green Scheme website
Make it Net Zero
12 hours free advice and support from a net zero specialist to reduce the carbon impact of your business. This includes the generation of a carbon footprint and a bespoke carbon reduction action plan.
For further information visit Make it Net Zero | SWMAS.
Interesting resources and news from Business West on ‘Trading to Net Zero’ including workshops and support with sustainability plans.
For further information please visit Guidance and further resources | Business West.
Carbon Reduction Grants for Business Scheme (Closed)
The Carbon Reduction Grants for Business Scheme, jointly run by Somerset’s five local authorities, helped local businesses save money and reduce their carbon footprints.
Read about some of the businesses that are benefitting from the grants of between £500 and £1,000. Please note that the scheme is currently closed to new applicants.
Green business network and events
For autumn 2023, we are hosting a series of in-person workshops in partnership with Somerset Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB South West).
The topics cover Green finance, B Corp, Energy efficiency, Greening your supply chain, Business sustainability and Circular economy
The workshops are being led by Somerset businesses.
Green Business Network – coming soon.
If you would like to be part of our network please contact email@example.com.
Sign up to our Economy Newsletter and Somerset Ecological and Environmental News, to be informed of events and networking: Somerset Council (govdelivery.com)
There are many online resources for businesses to access advice and tools on measuring and reducing carbon footprint, and increasing business resilience and sustainability. Here are our top recommendations:
UK Business Climate Hub – find advice on energy saving and net zero for SMEs
The UK Business Climate Hub provides net zero advice for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.
Zero Carbon Business – find advice on energy saving and net zero for SMEs
Zero Carbon Business is a platform for advice on net zero for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Use the Net Zero Action Planning tool to develop an action plan for your business. You can choose your sector and location to get a net zero plan tailored to your business.
SME Business Climate Hub.
Join the Race to Net Zero with SME Climate Hub. Measure your emissions, take an online course then commit to reduce your emissions to unlock free resources and tools.
Climate Action Plans & Business Sustainability | The Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust has prepared several guides for businesses to use, including a carbon footprint calculator. Their guides all come with background detail and clear instructions on use. The Carbon Trust does ask that you register with them before you can access their information. This is a straightforward online process.
Net Zero – Heart of South West Growth Hub
The Growth Hub provides support for businesses become Net Zero and have compiled a list of wider resources to help businesses.
Guidance and further resources | Business West
Interesting resources and news from Business West on ‘Trading to Net Zero’.
Small business sustainability hub | FSB, The Federation of Small Businesses
FSB’s Sustainability Hub, resources and lots of on demand webinars.
Calculate your businesses carbon footprint
The Carbon Trust has a free Carbon footprint calculator available for businesses. DEFRA’s small business user guide gives a clear and comprehensive step-by-step guide on measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon audit toolkit for businesses
Our Toolkit is packed with lots of simple ways businesses can cut their overheads and reduce carbon emissions such as making sure heating is on a timer, or that computers and lighting are switched off at the end of each day.
Find out how your business could save money and reduce its carbon emissions by using our Carbon Audit Toolkit for Businesses.
Plastic Packaging Tax
As of April 2022, any plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic content will be subject to the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT). This will be charged at a rate of £200 per metric tonne of plastic used.
Plastic packaging containing 30% or more recycled plastic still counts towards the 10-tonne threshold for packaging you manufacture or import in a 12-month period. Therefore, you must still keep records of it.
Helpful links for Plastic Packaging Tax
PPT guidance is available on GOV.UK. You can access this at either:
- Plastic Packaging Tax – A collection of guidance you should follow for Plastic Packaging Tax.
- Plastic Packaging Tax: steps to take – If you manufacture or import 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging within a 12-month period, you may need to register for the tax.
- HM Revenue and Customs on LinkedIn – Check if your plastic packaging is in scope of the PPT.
- Packaging in and out of the scope of Plastic Packaging Tax
If you would like to be notified of updates relating to the tax, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘mailing list’ in the subject line.
Waste and Resources Action Programme - Business Recycling Resources - WRAP
Somerset Council and Somerset Waste Partnership partnered with Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to pilot a DEFRA funded project aiming to increase business recycling rates.
To find your nearest green business have a look at some of our directories available for Somerset:
- South Somerset Great Green Directory
- Frome Green Directory
We also have a Somerset Wide Green Directory focused on businesses that can help retrofit homes across the County – RETROFIT! Somerset Retrofit Green Directory. If you’d like to get your business registered click on submit your listing on the website.