Resources for small businesses

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.

British Business Bank

The British Business Bank website 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. 

The National Federation of Self-Employed and Small Businesses (FSB)

FSB provides 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. Some current suggested useful resources are listed on this page but many others are available:

FSB regularly add new guides and resources to its website. You can keep up to date by subscribing to their newsletter.

Have a look at the FSB Small Business Sustainability Hub 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.

Calculating your business' carbon emission (carbon footprint)

  • Carbon provides an online carbon calculator 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.
  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has a Small Business User Guide which includes guidance on how to measure and report your greenhouse gas emissions.

Zero Carbon Business

  • Zero Carbon Business website 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
  • Path to Net Zero Step by Step – This section allows you to select the sector your business operates within as well as the location and will provide you with a tailored high-level net zero plan, which is a simple step-by-step guide.
  • Support and funding – What support and funding options may be available to you as a business nationally and regionally, including West Midlands.
  • Net Zero: the basics presents a whistle-stop guide to the basics of net zero.
  • Case studies – outlines short descriptive examples of businesses in various sectors that 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 in business operations to become more sustainable.
  • Carbon Trust: Offer a wide range of free guides and resources to help SMEs and start-ups tackle net zero and energy efficiency.
  • For key definitions see Carbon jargon - what does it all mean

Sustainable Business Toolkit

SME Climate Change Hub

  • SME Climate Hub 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, developed by experts in the areas of business and sustainability from The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership 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 break 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 that are leading the way on climate action
  • Set concrete actions, which you can take back to your business to effectively implement change.
  • Official help on businesses energy complaints, microbusiness gas or electricity and advice on energy efficiency schemes from Great Britain’s energy regulator, Ofgem.
  • British Gas Business is committed to helping support businesses comply with UK plans to reach Net Zero by 2050.

Other free learning, knowledge and resources

Water-saving tips for businesses. A three-step process to help you measure your water use, minimise your waste and maintain the results.

Food waste prevention

Guides to help you and your business increase available product life for consumers.