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Over a third of businesses admit they haven’t begun to actively reduce emissions

Analysis of today’s ONS Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) by Reconomy Group, a leading global circular economy specialist, has revealed over a third of businesses are yet to take meaningful action on reducing emissions.

Despite the climate emergency and strengthening focus on business’ steps to protect the environment, the ONS data found that 35 per cent of companies admitted that they were not doing anything to cut emissions and waste.

When it came to what companies were doing to tackle emissions, switching to LED bulbs (32 per cent) was the most popular action. Tackling energy usage was also a priority with over a quarter (27 per cent) adjusting heating and/or cooling systems, 14 per cent installing smart meters and eight per cent insulating buildings.

Growing demand for infrastructure to support electric vehicles was evidenced by the eight per cent who said they were electrifying their vehicle fleet and five per cent installing charging points.

Sector breakdown

The sector breakdown provided by the ONS revealed that the professional, scientific and technical services sector had the biggest opportunity for improvement when it came to limiting their emissions, with 42 per cent not implementing processes or technology that could accelerate their journey to net zero.

ONS added there is also progress to be made in other industries with similarly high proportions still to kickstart meaningful carbon-reduction change across the transportation and storage (41 per cent), administrative and support services (41 per cent), and construction (38 per cent) sectors.

Commenting on the data, Diane Crowe, Head of Sustainability at Reconomy Group, said: “Despite making positive progress in climate commitments and activity to get net zero, it is evident that businesses in the UK still have the chance to make further meaningful change.

“Accelerating this shift to a more circular economy will be vital in our transition to more sustainable business practices that drive growth while protecting our environment and finite resources.

“Over the past year we have witnessed a step change in attitudes towards energy usage – from individual households to multinational firms – as the surge in costs following the war in Ukraine drives radical change. The adoption of greener energy sources is evidence of our capability to push forward with these critical measures and we need to see more proactive steps to achieve our net zero ambitions.”

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