From Now to Net Zero: A Practical Guide for SMEs

Read our interactive report (PDF) 3.33MB size, PDF opens in new tab

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Scotland’s greenest ice cream manufacturer is set to cut energy use and carbon emissions by up to 80%.

Mackie’s of Scotland

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Watch our panel of business experts and clients discuss the importance of getting started on their journey to Net Zero.

Watch the webinar

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A Glasgow-based housing developer has broken ground on a new sustainable 25-flat development in Edinburgh.

Carmichael Homes

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change businesses across Scotland are expected to make significant changes in order to achieve Net Zero by 2045.

Supporting your business on the journey

To deepen our understanding of how we can best support you on your journey to Net Zero, we’ve surveyed more than 1,000 SME businesses, undertaken in-depth interviews and focus groups with expert commentary, and held follow-up conversations with our customers about where they are on their journey, and what Net Zero means for them.

Getting to Net Zero

This report finds that businesses recognise the importance of sustainability, but they face many hurdles when it comes to putting sustainable initiatives in place. 

Challenges in achieving Net Zero vary by sector but our research found three consistent barriers:

  • Financial barriers to finding the capital to invest in sustainability initiatives and uncertainty about whether such investment would deliver real returns.
  • Limited control. How can they act to reduce emissions outside their own direct operations – for example in supply chains?
  • Assessing their environmental impact - difficult and complex. 

Furthermore, nearly half of businesses surveyed said they do not know what achieving Net Zero means for their business.

Achieving Net Zero offers opportunities for investment, innovation, job creation and earnings. Two-thirds of SMEs view the move to a greener economy, not just as a challenge to be met, but as a positive opportunity for growth.

To support your understanding of what sustainability means for your business and how you can adapt your strategy to become more sustainable, check out the tools and resources available within this report (PDF, 3.4MB).

From insight to action

Recognising the importance of achieving a Net Zero target, we’ve used the findings from our research to create a five-step guide  to support your business on your journey:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Engagement and Action Today
  3. Measure, Mobilise, Monitor
  4. Navigating the Road Ahead
  5. Heroes of Net Zero

Wherever you are on the journey, you can use the links within the guide to find ideas and support. If you are a Bank of Scotland customer please speak to your Relationship Manager for more information. 

Sustainability Hub

Supporting Scottish businesses transition to low-carbon, sustainable business models and operations to pursue new clean growth opportunities.

Clean Growth Financing Initiative

Access discounted lending for green purposes from small improvements to large-scale infrastructure.

Clean Growth Audit

Identify opportunities for making your business more sustainable with our Clean Growth Sustainability Audit Guide.