Skip to sub navigation Skip to main content

Low carbon and net zero targets

The Climate Change Act, as amended in 2019, commits the UK to 'net zero' by 2050. Yet we’ve all seen the headlines. Heard the stats but where do you start? And more importantly, how do you keep going?

What is your carbon footprint?

You can start by taking meaningful action and find out what your carbon footprint is. For most organisations the main sources of Green House Gases are likely to come from the following activities:

  • Consumption of Electricity
  • Consumption of Gas
  • Consumption of Petrol or Diesel

To calculate your carbon footprint, you will need to know what your total consumption is in kWh over a 12-month period and how much fuel you have used. Once you have this data, you will need to convert your Gas and Electricity into CO2e units. Luckily the government publishes a useful guide that shows all the necessary conversion factors for free.

Next, you will need to calculate how much fuel your business has used. An easy way to do this is by estimating your annual fuel costs for each type of vehicle that you have and then convert these into litres of fuel by using the governments information on ‘average road fuel prices’.

This will give you an indication of what your carbon footprint is, however for a more accurate and importantly ‘validated’ measure, it’s best to contract with a private sector organisation. This service is similar to asking an accountant to do your annual book keeping, each year they can check your data and produce a verification report showing your carbon footprint. They can also track any year-on-year changes and advise how you can make further reductions in your CO2e emissions.

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University can help you calculate what your business' carbon footprint is, as part of their sustainability in enterprise project, and its free.

Other organisations

The following organisations can do this service for you:

Support from universities

Energy for Business

Energy for Business a low-carbon innovation project from the University of Nottingham. They can help small or medium enterprises with product research and development, business support and have some capital funding and grants, to help you take the leap into becoming a low carbon business. Businesses can get up to £8000 or 40% of eligible project costs. Minimum projects to be considered are £2500 to maximum of £20,000.

The Sustainability in Enterprise project

Nottingham Trent University offers practical support and funding to reduce the carbon emissions of eligible Nottingham small and medium enterprises based in Hucknall only.

Small and medium businesses can access free, practical support from specialists in sustainable business operations, building management, product design, and employee engagement. The idea is to help businesses understand their current carbon emissions are and identify effective carbon reduction measures. You can attend carbon management workshops, find out what your carbon footprint is and apply for a grant worth up to £5000 to support the implementation of eligible carbon reduction measures that increase energy efficiencies. 

The De-carbonise Programme

Derby University can provide free technical advice on how to make changes to support Nottinghamshire small and medium enterprises with becoming greener. Grants are only available to businesses within Derbyshire, but you can get lots of help looking at your low carbon initiatives and with sourcing suppliers. It’s worth talking to them to see what the best approach might be to achieve your environmental goals.

The Low Carbon Network

If you’re a small or medium enterprise and supply low carbon or environmental goods or services, then you can join this network managed by Derby University. It also gives access to £2500 grant to use for improving your business, and towards accreditations, as well as a searchable network map that allows other SMEs to connect with larger organisations and supply chains. 

EMC North Nottingham Manufacturing Network

The East Midlands Chamber Manufacturing Networks builds on the success of the respected Nottingham Manufacturing Network (NMN). It is a peer-to-peer membership organisation consisting of a diverse range of manufacturing businesses. They are keen to promote growth in manufacturing and help members to address commercial problems. It’s completely free to join, but you must be a manufacturer.

Travel Choice

Travel Choice is a support programme from Nottinghamshire County Council. They offer free travel and transport advice, information and incentives to businesses based in Nottinghamshire. They provide bespoke packages dependent on each businesses travel requirements, key issues, priorities and motivations. Some of these are shown here:

  • Grants towards infrastructure such as: Cycle parking, lockers, showers, drying facilities and electric vehicle charging points
  • Free pool bikes
  • Free digital resources: Staff travel information packs, including walking and cycling maps
  • Free resources to help staff become more active

Business Grants

The ARC Project

Small and medium enterprises in Hucknall and Nottingham City area can get free carbon reduction advice and access to a grant which can cover up to 35% of eligible projects costs to a maximum of £16,000. This can be used to support low carbon energy efficiency projects.

Business Loans

NatWest Business Bank

NatWest offer services, financing, and funding solutions to customers, to help them achieve their green and climate ambitions. They will support customers, both small and large to transition towards a low carbon economy through climate and sustainable funding and financing.

Low Carbon Support for Social Enterprises

Nottinghamshire Energy Partnership

Nottinghmashire Energy Partnership assist third sector organisations to become more energy efficient. They have worked with over 100 organisations including sports clubs and community centres. 100% of NEP Energy Services profits are reinvested in public health and carbon reduction projects.

Other low carbon information websites