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Access finance and funding for your business' green journey

Lowering emissions creates real business benefits – from reduced overheads to a more powerful brand. And there’s help to finance these changes from a range of sources. 

Research from the British Business Bank shows 700,000 smaller UK companies have accessed external finance to lower their emissions, and almost twice that number expect to do so in the next five years.

 Here’s how you can join them and get financial support to lower your emissions. 

1. Know where to take action

 

Get ahead by knowing as much as possible about your current carbon impact – and how it could be reduced. Audit your activity in areas such energy use and travel, and use a carbon footprint calculator to see the emissions generated. 

Then think about parts of your business where investment could make a difference. Support for vehicle charging, reducing waste and upgrading machinery and buildings are just some of the ways to drive down emissions.

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Use this handy tool from the Carbon Trust, designed specifically for SMEs, to calculate emissions from common sources including electricity use, vehicles, air confidtioning and refrigeration.T

2. Search for local and regional grants

 

Grants to green your business are available from national, regional and local government, as well as universities and other sources. Common areas where helps is available include energy efficiency and sustainable transport. Other valuable free support includes free consultancy services, advice and tailored plans. 

Examples include the Government’s Workplace Charging Scheme, which offers grants of up to £14,000 to install electric vehicle chargepoints. Another is the Gigabit voucher scheme. Supporting effective online working, rural small businesses can get grants of up to £3,500 to install fast broadband. 

However, many opportunities are only available in certain cities and regions.

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Browse this detailed list of regional opportunities from Zero Carbon Business, to see what’s on offer in your area.

3. Explore greeen loans

 

Most of the UK’s biggest banks now offer green loans targeted specifically at SMEs. The sector is under growing pressure to support sustainability through its lending and investments, creating opportunities for businesses lowering their emissions. 

There’s no doubt green finance has become mainstream: the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, backed by the UN, includes 115 banks holding about 40% of global banking assets.

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Ralk to your bank about a green loan – or search online for offers from other providers.

More resources to help your business go green

Whatever business you’re in, these free resources show how you can use action on sustainability:

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Save money by cutting waste

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Recruit and retain staff

case studies

Case studies:
Examples of how SMEs are going green and growing their business.

Or use this handy tool from Zero Carbon Business to get a bespoke net zero plan tailored to your SME's sector and location.

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