Going 'Green': Could For the Planet, Bad for the Economy?

Ariel Edesess

You’d be forgiven for thinking that businesses are racing ahead in the green transition. After all, big corporations like Sainsbury’s and Microsoft have made public announcements about going carbon neutral, or even carbon negative in the near future.

But these commitments are more difficult for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to implement. Comprising fewer than 250 employees, they make up 99.9% of all businesses in the UK. Fully 96% have nine or fewer employees. They have fewer resources to carry out new policies and so are often left behind. SMEs might struggle to afford the upfront cost of installing renewable energy technologies like solar panels, and they might lack the time or personnel to find ways to reduce their energy use and emissions. This leaves them paying unnecessarily high energy bills or contributing more than their share of CO₂ emissions. This is not a fault of the policies themselves, but it does show the government’s lack of consideration of the challenges that small businesses face in trying to make the necessary changes.

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