In November, the UK is hosting its biggest and most significant summit to tackle climate change.
COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and COP26 is the 2021 edition of the United Nations annual conference around climate change. COP26 is the most significant event around climate issues since COP21 (the 2015 United Nations climate conference, leading to the Paris Agreement – a legally binding international treaty on climate change adopted by 196 countries).
Every year, world leaders come together to decide how humanity should tackle the climate change issues that are a danger to all people and our planet.
The UK leads the way on climate action and sets a high bar for other countries to come forward with plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Over the past 30 years, the UK economy grew by 78% whilst emissions fell by 44%, the fastest reduction in the G7.
Last year, the Prime Minister launched his Green Ten Point Plan towards a UK Green Industrial Revolution.
The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) ‘Together for our Planet’ campaign encourages the general public to do their bit and create a positive movement for a wave of green steps across the country leading up to COP26.
There are many steps that businesses can take to help tackle climate change. Business owners play an important role and a ‘do-nothing’ approach will have a long-term negative impact on the environment.
Are you carbon neutral?
Look at how your business consumes energy and develop a sustainability strategy. Such as where can you make changes to reduce carbon emissions and switch to renewable energy sources?
Update your lighting and heating systems and focus on energy reduction, which will help your business become more sustainable and save you money.
Consider your energy supply chain for more efficient production that doesn’t rely solely on limited resources and invest in using recycled materials where possible.
The company’s Board should monitor progress and set quarterly targets for your sustainability goals. If each business could formulate a plan to become carbon negative, we can fight climate change faster.
Reimagine your waste habits
How your office manages your waste can have a positive impact on climate change. This can include keeping organic waste out of landfills, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Can you work with more sustainable suppliers and encourage employees to improve their habits?
Economically, improved recycling can lead to decreased waste costs and therefore save you money.
Do you have a ‘Green’ team?
The easiest way to reduce carbon emissions is to educate your workforce on how their actions impact the environment.
Many individuals within your team will be passionate about sustainability in their personal lives, and therefore happy to spread the word and identify opportunities to improve environmental initiatives.
By allowing your teams to think of innovative ways to get involved, you can encourage changing habits and attitudes throughout the office.
As a business owner, you are in a strong position to drive changes that can fight climate change.
Follow the #OneStepGreener campaign to see how different individuals are making an environmental impact across the UK.
How can accountants help?
We understand that taking active steps [to reduce your carbon footprint] can have cost and tax implications for your business and are committed to helping you make positive changes. As accountants and advisors, we understand the complexities and challenges your business may face in pursuing its sustainability agenda.
We can help you navigate financial and tax challenges as you navigate stakeholder decision-making to promote sustainable practices within your organisation. Get in touch with our team if you have any questions.