Net-Zero Toolkit For Your Business

10 blocks stacked in a 4,3,2,1 formation upwards with net-zero images on them, such as CO2 or the reduce/reuse/recycle logo.

The Net-Zero Business Toolkit aims to make sustainability simple, so you can get started with net-zero, saving money and future-proofing your operations. This toolkit is suitable for businesses of any sector or size, whether you’re starting out, checking your progress, or looking to make fundamental changes to the way you work.

With the cost of doing business rising, and new legislation on the horizon, there’s never been a more important time to think about how we use the resources we have.

Sustainable practices can:

  • Reduce your energy bills.
  • Help you save money by reducing wasted stock or materials.
  • Ensure you are ahead of new legislation, avoiding additional taxes or fines.
  • Give you a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace.
  • Open new markets and offer new opportunities for branding and promotion.

The toolkit comes in 2 parts:

Part 1 – Our 6 Benefits To Business Guides, glossary and checklist

Ideal for: businesses who are starting their net-zero journey, or who want to assess their baseline level of circularity.

These net-zero toolkit guides outline 6 key methods to help businesses make the most of their resources, reducing waste, and finding new ways of working that are as good for both business as they are for the planet.

The climate change terms glossary can help you understand the key phrases being used today, and make net zero discussions and support more accessible for you. Use the accompanying checklist to help you take simple actions that have a big impact on your bottom line, reducing energy costs, making your resources go further, and saving you money.

What’s included:
  • A simple guide to the circular economy, and how it benefits your business.
  • Real-life case studies to show the ideas in action.
  • A climate change terms glossary for businesses, to help you understand key, relevant net zero phrases.
  • Action-focused checklist, to help you use this knowledge in your own business.

Net Zero Toolkit Part 2 – Carbon Footprint Calculator and Circular Economy Opportunity Tool

Ideal for: businesses who have already taken the initial steps towards net-zero, and are looking for a full assessment of their current operations so they can plan for the future. We recommend completing Part 1 of our net-zero toolkit first.

Every business generates a carbon footprint; a total amount of carbon you generate through your day-to-day activities, and understanding it can help you make your business fit for the future. This tool has a carbon footprint calculator that will help you understand the carbon emissions your business is responsible for, and where you can make the biggest savings.

You can also use the tool to measure the potential impact of changes you can make, like increasing recycled content in your packaging. There is a future-planning sheet too, so you can begin turning your ideas into action.

The in-depth carbon footprint report the tool generates is comparable to those you would get from an environmental consultant. The tool may take some time to fill out, but this doesn’t need to be completed in one go – you can save the tool and come back to it as many times as you need.

Before you get started, you will need to gather a range of information about your business for the last year. You can find a full list of the information needed on the front page of the tool, but it includes:

  • Energy (both electricity and gas) and water bills
  • Spending on road fuels for company cars (if applicable)
  • Your employees’ commute methods and distances
  • Your estimated level of waste generation on a weekly basis (we use number of bins filled as an estimate)

If you want to find out more about sustainability and how you can get involved with our work, check out our Circular Yorkshire campaign here.

We want to help SMEs reach net-zero, so if you have any feedback on the toolkit, or ideas of topics you’d like covered, you can fill out a quick feedback form here.

Do you have any questions on the toolkit, or on sustainability generally? Could you use a hand troubleshooting the tools, or would you like to follow along with a demonstration? York & North Yorkshire LEP run regular Net-Zero Support Sessions, where you can drop-in, ask questions, and meet other local businesses working on sustainability. These are ideal sessions to share ideas and get support – you can find out more information and sign up here.