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Sustainability and society: Protect the Planet

Protect the Planet

Our Protect the Planet pillar is our commitment to fight climate change. We are delivering on it by halving our own emissions by 2030 and becoming net zero by 2040, supporting SMBs to get to net zero and by advocating for regulatory frameworks to support the transition to a low carbon economy.

Addressing the climate crisis

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) want to address the environmental and social impact of their operations, but doing this efficiently and with impact can be daunting. It’s our goal to knock down the barriers that stand in their way.

We'll lead by example with ambitious yet realistic targets of our own:


  • Cutting our own carbon emissions by 50% by 2030
  • Reaching net-zero by 2040 (across scope 1, 2 and 3)
  • Committing to the SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative)
  • Committing to the UN climate change Race to Zero to support CoP26
  • Signing up to the UN Global Compact Business Ambition for 1.5°C Pathway

Impact of SMBs on climate

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are at the heart of economies and societies around the world. We know that SMBs have a crucial part to play in the challenges brought on by climate change and we support them in acting.

In this report, we outline the impact and influence of these types of businesses on the climate and the economy – highlighting why the net zero transition is challenging for SMBs. Commissioned by Sage, in partnership with Oxford Economics and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the report features insights from 4,000 small and medium businesses across the UK and South Africa, plus global sustainability modelling by Oxford Economics. Find out what climate actions SMBs can take now and explore what governments and big businesses can do to enable action in the future.

Enabling SMBs to take climate action

SMBs make up over 90% of businesses and are estimated to employ two billion people worldwide. However, the reality is a vast majority have yet to take climate action or put targets in place to reduce their carbon emissions. Lack of time, significant costs, overly complex guidance, and uncertainty about quantifying emissions are barriers to them taking positive action. That’s why we’ve partnered with the global body for professional accountants, ACCA, and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to put forward SMB-friendly recommendations.

Our collaborative report "Think Small First: Enabling effective climate action by small and medium-sized businesses" calls for governments and large companies to step up to do more to urgently simplify carbon reporting and accounting so SMBs are not left behind in the Race to Net Zero.

We’ve joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Joining WBCSD as a Council Member gives Sage the opportunity to represent SMBs globally and bring attention to the challenges they face in protecting our planet. We will collaborate with leaders across industries, sectors, and geographies to help sustainable businesses be more successful.

Steve Hare will also play an active role in the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality (BCTI), as commissioner, where he will work with other purpose-led CEOs and industry leaders to mobilize the business community at large and drive tangible progress in support of prosperity for all.

Making sure no one is left in the dark

Through our partnerships with non-profits that provide clean, renewable energy to underserved communities, we’re supporting young people with safe and reliable lighting which gives them access to an education by helping them study after dark.

Explore our pillars

Tech for Good

We are committed to building a trusted and inclusive digital network. Through our Tech for Good pillar, we want to ensure everyone has equal opportunities to access life-changing data and technology, while championing data protection, security, and the ethical use of customer data.

Fuel for Business

Our Fuel for Business pillar is our approach to tackling economic inequality by supporting underrepresented groups. It supports programs that inspire and empower a generation of entrepreneurs, providing access and inclusion to entrepreneurship and encouraging successful businesses across our communities.

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