New research from Sage and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) reveals:
London; November 7, 2022: The SME Climate Impact Report from Sage – the leader in accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for SMEs – today calls for the UK government to not overlook these businesses in the fight against climate change given the influential role they play in the economy: SMEs contribute 50% of the country's Gross Value Added to GDP (worth £1.0 trillion in 2021) and support 52% of total employment with 18.2 million jobs, the report highlights. Commissioned by Sage and published in partnership with Oxford Economics and ICC, the research features insights from 2,000 UK SMEs and showcases Oxford Economics’ impact modelling, which, for the first time, quantifies these businesses’ impact on the environment and economy.
Launching at COP27, the SME Climate Impact Report also strengthens Sage’s dedication to sustainability. In addition to pledging to halve its own emissions by 2030 and becoming net-zero by 2040, Sage is committed to supporting small and medium businesses to get to net zero, and to advocating for policy and regulatory frameworks that support UK's transition to a low-carbon economy. As part of this strategy, Sage recently completed the acquisition of Spherics, a carbon accounting solution to help businesses easily understand and reduce their environmental impact.
The report finds that despite being deterred by high upfront costs, inaccessibility of tools to understand their footprint, and lack of guidance on next steps from the government, more than half of SMEs recognise the importance of prioritising sustainability towards a cleaner, greener future. It also highlights that without urgent support from policymakers, millions of SMEs are at risk of being left behind in UK’s fight against climate change.
Key findings from the report include:
In light of these findings, Sage and ICC are today calling for governments to create a comprehensive plan that empowers SMEs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the country’s overall plan towards net-zero. Specific policy recommendations include:
“The overall climate footprint of SMEs shows just how vital they are to tackling climate change. There is an urgent need to help them understand their emissions and arm them with guidance so they can formulate their sustainability plans: only 36% of SMEs have communicated a net-zero target so far,” said Elisa Moscolin, Executive Vice President, Sustainability and Foundation at Sage. “The good news is that the vast majority of UK SMEs already recognise the importance and urgency of becoming more environmentally friendly. Considering the significant role they play in our economies – and our environment -- the UK government has a responsibility to level the playing field for SMEs in the race to a net-zero society.”
Andrew Wilson, Global Policy Director, International Chamber of Commerce said: “At ICC, we believe climate action is everyone’s business and we must act in concert to ensure that micro, small and medium-sized businesses are both sufficiently heard and fully equipped to take ambitious climate and environmental action. We are thrilled to partner with Sage to address this critical issue head-on and chart a course that can help deliver the change we need. The stakes are high, as are expectations, and working together with our global partners and network, we are determined to empower small businesses to build a more sustainable and prosperous future for the planet.”
Sage exists to knock down barriers so everyone can thrive, starting with the millions of small- and mid-sized businesses served by us, our partners and accountants. Customers trust our finance, HR and payroll software to make work and money flow. By digitising business processes and relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, banks and governments, our digital network connects SMBs, removing friction and delivering insights. Knocking down barriers also means we use our time, technology, and experience to tackle digital inequality, economic inequality and the climate crisis. Learn more at www.sage.com/en-gb/
ICC is the world business organization, enabling business to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all. We are the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 130 countries with a mission to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere. Through a unique mix of advocacy, solutions and standard setting, we promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation, in addition to providing market-leading dispute resolution services. Our members include many of the world’s leading companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce. Find out more at https://iccwbo.org. Follow ICC on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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