Businesses, small and large have an important role to play in helping protect and enhance the environment. There is a wealth of information and support for businesses and other organisations freely available on the internet. Mansfield District Council have compiled a list of useful resources to help local business embarking on this journey.
Calculating your businesses Carbon Emission (Carbon footprint)
Carbon Footprint.com provides online Carbon Calculators (opens in new window) which is free for up to one building. Paid for support options are also available.
The Carbon Trust provides a free online SME Carbon Calculator (opens in new window).
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has a Small Business User Guide (opens in new window) which includes guidance on how to measure and report your greenhouse gas emissions.
The National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses (FSB)
FSB provide some useful free online resources designed for small business owners embarking on the wider sustainability journey or path towards becoming a net zero business. Subscribing members to FSB get access to more resources but subscribing is not essential to access their free resources.
Their free resources can be found on the sustainability knowledge sections of the FSB website (opens in new window). Some current suggested useful resources are listed on this page but many others are available:
- Transition to net zero with the Zero Carbon Business Portal (opens in new window) – Pre-Recorded Webinar
- Green Tariffs: How to Cut Your Energy Consumption (opens in new window) – Pre Recorded Webinar
- How to save water in the workplace (opens in new window) – Article
FSB regularly add new guides and resources to their website. You can keep up to date by subscribing to their newsletter (opens in new window).
Have a look at the FSB Small Business Sustainability Hub (opens in new window) which is regularly updated with the latest resources, tools and information to help your small business prepare for changes, go green and be more sustainable.
British Business Bank
The British Business Bank website (opens in new window) includes various jargon busting guides on business sustainability.
Their knowledge share pages are broken down into topics such as:
- Learn what’s possible
- Prepare for the change
- Take Practical Action
- Where to find support.
Zero Carbon Business
Zero Carbon Business website (opens in new window) provides a one-stop shop for information and resources for businesses in the UK. The website is simple but informative and breaks information down into specific sections:
- Zero Carbon Business guides (opens in new window)
- Path to Net Zero Step by Step (opens in new window) – This section allows you to select the sector your business operate within as well as location and will provide you with tailored high level net zero plan, which is a simple step-by-step guide.
- Support and funding (opens in new window) – What support and funding options may be available to you as a business nationally and regionally, including East Midlands.
- Net Zero the basics (opens in new window) presents a whistle stop guide to the basics of net-zero.
- Case studies (opens in new window) – outlines short descriptive examples of businesses in various sectors who have taken a wide range of steps from fleet improvements to energy efficiency measures to improve their overall business sustainability. These include a range of UK wide examples, from small actions to larger changes business operations to become more sustainable.
For key definitions see Carbon jargon - what does it all mean (opens in new window).
Sustainable Business Toolkit
Although not UK specific The Sustainable Business Toolkit (opens in new window) provides some useful sustainability resources.
SME Climate Hub
SME Climate Hub (opens in new window) is a free resource but requires an initial commitment, which is a pledge to act and given the quality of the resource making the pledge should not deter businesses. The commitment is simply a pledge to act by completing the commitment to halve emissions by 2030, achieve net zero by 2050, and report on your progress yearly. By committing to reduce your emissions through the SME Climate Hub, you will be counted in the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign. This allows you to partner with thousands of businesses and governments globally to reach net zero emissions by 2050 as well as gain access to a pool of free resources.
One of these resources is Climate Fit (opens in new window), developed by experts in the areas of business and sustainability from The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (opens in new window) and BSR. Climate Fit is a free online training course to help SMEs reduce their carbon emissions and join the collective race to net zero. Climate Fit has been specifically designed for SMEs.
How it works:
- Seven modules breaking the tasks down into achievable steps.
- 20-30 minutes per module, this self-paced course is designed so you can set the pace.
- Highly interactive, featuring videos, activities, and quizzes to assist your learning journey.
- Learn from your peers, with case studies on other businesses who are leading the way on climate action
- Set concrete actions, which you can take back to your business to effectively implement change.
Other Free Learning Resources
Free Courses England (opens in new window) offer free courses accredited qualifications offer benefits for individuals and organisations from all backgrounds regardless of employment status, career level or interests. You must meet the eligibility criteria (opens in new window) for the courses.
Various business courses (opens in new window) are available, of relevance to Sustainability and Environmental Management these include:
- Understanding Environmental Sustainability (opens in new window)
- Understanding Climate Change and Environmental Awareness (opens in new window)
These are both six week courses consisting of approximately 4 to 5 hours of weekly study.