A new report launched by npower shows that the majority of businesses back net zero, with a significant number praising the perceived benefits.
The report, which saw npower Business Solutions consult with nearly 100 businesses across sectors such as manufacturing, the public sector and professional services, is to be submitted to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
It found that 75% of businesses believe net zero by 2050 is achievable and 83% believe their organisation would benefit for the changes required to meet this goal. Reasons for this include greater operational long-term resiliency through saving money and reducing carbon emissions, the positive impact on reputation and the opportunity to diversify their offering into new areas.
However, the businesses were less unified on who is to foot the bill for the transition. Respondents were split between the government and large energy intensive industries, with financial institutions also ranking highly.
Just under half (46%) were concerned over the potential economic impact on their businesses of funding the transition, with 32% recognising that there would be some level of general taxation and 23% believing it should form part of their existing climate obligations.
The majority of respondents did, however, state that they felt businesses’ contribution to net zero needed to be via new government incentives to invest in either renewable technologies or flexibility to give businesses the opportunity to change their demand, generate their own energy and support the grid.
As it stands, 64% said they had a clear plan to hit net zero emissions ahead of 2050 and 44% said they are looking at electric vehicles (EVs) as part of their energy strategy.
Anthony Ainsworth, chief operating officer I&C at npower, said that the “message coming through, loud and clear, from this consultation is that more is needed to support the corporate and business community”.
“As businesses have such a crucial role to play in the net zero transition, it is important that their voices are heard. That is why we will submit this report to BEIS to provide guidance on what UK organisations want to see in terms of incentives and mandates to enable them to effectively plan for a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future.
“There is a real willingness from business to embrace net zero – they just need the policy clarity and additional support to help them achieve it.”
Npower’s report is not the only evidence of support from business for net zero. A report released yesterday (14 September) from the CBI detailed its recommendations for the government to help facilitate net zero and a green recovery from COVID-19, focusing on increased support for EVs and low carbon heat.