The NetZeroToolkit is completely free for all to use. We cannot quantify the cost of any actions taken as a result of the toolkit, but are hopeful that you find there are financial savings to be made in parallel with carbon savings.  

Many of the resources listed in the toolkit are free to use too, but some links will connect you with businesses who provide paid-for services. It’s completely up to you what you decide to use! 

As The NetZeroToolkit develops, there may be optional extras such as workshops and accreditations that you can choose to pay for. Our intention is to always keep the toolkit itself free to use. 

The NetZeroToolkit will guide you through eight steps. Each step includes guidance notes to help you to answer the questions contained within each step and a short directory of resources that will help you to carry out the actions required for that stepGuidance notes are also available as a downloadable PDF at the end of The NetZeroToolkit should you wish to share them with your team. 

The digestible, eight-step structure empowers you to systematically tackle each of the major causes of emissions. Alongside each step we have selected a range of information and resources that can support you to complete each step to a satisfactory level. Overall, The NetZeroToolkit will help you produce the basis of your carbon strategy based on your answers, allow you to keep track of your progress towards net zero and help you to set dates for review. 

Yes! SMEs like yours make up 99% of the UK business community – so it is more that nothing is possible without you  

This depends on the needs of your business, how much work you have already done on carbon management and how prepared you are to complete each question. For example, gathering necessary utility bills and other data required to establish a carbon benchmark will likely be the most time-consuming part of the process, requiring a good degree of coordination. 

You can submit and then revisit the toolkit as many times as you like, this will allow you to add further information on your organisation’s emissions as you obtain it.

recent YouGov survey found that 52% of us inform our purchase decisions based on brands’ eco-credentials – with 21% actively ceasing the purchase of a specific brand or product over environmental concerns. Consumers are increasingly demanding that businesses adopt environmentally responsible practices and are savvy to greenwashing and empty promises. It is increasingly important to demonstrate that you take climate action seriously and are working on lowering your environmental impact.  

Businesses must rapidly mobilise ahead of government targetsto allow breathing space in the face of potential delays. Plus, decarbonising sooner will help us collectively buy precious time in slowing the heating of the planet, softening the effects of the unfolding catastrophe. 

The NetZeroToolkit  breaks this commitment down for you and will ask you to set targets for the next 12m, the next 5yrs, to have halved your emissions by 2030 and to be net zero by 2040. 

Because every business is different there is no one-size-fits-all costing when it comes to environmental solutions.  

For the majority of businesses there will be parts of their plan that involve investment in new technology or solutions, but because you are tackling these changes systematically you can plan for them.  

Often businesses end up saving money in the longer term, because these solutions reduce your energy/fuel consumption.  

Using The NetZeroToolkit allows you to decide where your investment will be best directed and on what timescale. It will help you to estimate future financial impact of the actions that you take.  

When you submit the toolkit, you will be asked to set a date to review your NetZeroToolkit answers. 

If you can work on the actions you set yourself in your toolkit straight away, then you might choose to review your toolkit 6 months to one year from now to examine your progress towards these goals. 

Things to consider when planning your review date: 

  • The size of your organisation  
  • Whether you are ready to begin implementing changes now 
  • Whether you need to gather more information from your company before filling out some of the steps. In this case, it’s a good idea to set yourself a review date in the near future to remind yourself to complete the toolkit answers. Then, you can re-submit your toolkit and set a further review date to revisit the actions you have now set. 

Remember, you can return to the toolkit as often as you like, and re-submit it once you are more satisfied with your answers. 

We will send you an email two weeks to a month ahead of your review date to remind you about it, and to see how you are getting on. We’ll ask you to summarise the progress you have made, and tell us about any challenges that you are facing. 

The UK is committed to achieving net zero by 2050. This was amended in the Climate Change Act 2019 from a previous target of an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. 

The Climate Change Act 2019 commits Scotland to net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045. This is tougher than a net-zero carbon target, which commits only to balancing carbon dioxide emissions. 

Scope 1 emissions are those which you make directly, such as heating used for your business premises. Scope 2 emissions are those you make indirectly, for example the electricity you buy which is being produced on your behalf. Scope 3 emissions are any emissions associated with your business activity such as employee commuting, manufacturing of the products you use, and customer activity that is happening as a result of your organisation.  

See this page from Deloitte for more information. 

We encourage you to share your participation and subsequent emissions reductions on your social media, tagging us @NetZeroToolkit on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

If you would like images or branded collateral to share, please email hello@thenetzerotoolkit.org

There is overwhelming consensus on climate science. And we can see the changes ourselves even across the UK. Spring comes earlier each year, and winter later. These changes can be devastating for our natural ecosystems. Flooding and extreme weather events are becoming more common, causing property damage and even deaths.

The main control of the global temperature is the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide, or CO2. The more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the hotter the Earth gets. Of course, there are other factors, but CO2 is the big driver.

Since the industrial age, when we began burning fossil fuels, the atmospheric concentration of CO₂ has gone up by 40%, from a level of 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million, mainly as a result of mankind’s burning of fossil fuels. This may not sound like a lot but is actually huge – imagine if your body temperature went up 40%, or the level of alcohol in your blood went up by 40%. Not only has the overall level of CO2 increased massively, the rate of increase has been much faster due to human impact than under natural processes, actually around 60 times faster.

The global climate is changing, with the Earth on a warming trajectory mainly caused by greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. Most of the warming has occurred over the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years in the 136-year record all occurring since 2001. The year 2016 ranks as the warmest on record, with warming levels of 1.3°C relative to the 1880 to 1920 mean. Current symptoms of this level of temperature increase include profound glacial retreat around the globe, extensive loss of coral reef ecosystems and a rising number of extreme weather-related events.

Although it doesn’t sound much we are already seeing significant impacts. The 1°C is the average temperature increase across the surface of the globe meaning some parts of the globe get much hotter causing impacts on things like the water cycle, resulting in more frequent flood events. What we are seeing now is huge changes in winter conditions, with more temperature volatility, significant glacial retreat, significant coral reef death (due to the fact that most of the warming has gone into the sea) and many more extreme weather events, heatwaves such as Lucifer in Southern Europe in 2017 and so called ‘500 year’ storms like Hurricane Harvey. The heatwaves are causing huge forest fires – the summer of 2017 saw extensive wildfires in Canada, Greenland (!!), Southern Europe and Russia.

Another risk is sea level rise. This takes longer to happen though as things like ice caps need to melt and nobody is really sure how quickly that might happen. Scientists estimate current levels of global warming, that’s the 1°C, are consistent with sea level rises of 6m to 9m, which would put large parts of many major coastal cities underwater.

Sadly, if we keep on releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, the temperature will keep rising. A hotter Earth will lead to more frequent and more devastating impacts than we have seen before. What is really worrying is that if we don’t manage to keep global warming below 2°C, then it is very likely that large and irreversible changes such as the melting of the polar ice caps may be triggered. This could mean we are unable to stop temperatures rising further and further, which could be disastrous for all kinds of life across all parts of the planet.

We hope so! The increasingly rapid deployment of renewable energy sources and their rapidly decreasing cost means we genuinely have a viable alternative to fossil fuels – but we must implement these solutions as quickly as possible. We have an unprecedented global agreement (the Paris agreement) whereby all the countries of the world came together in 2015 and agreed to take measures to limit global warming. Not only this, but many of the world’s largest companies are fully on board and companies across a range of sectors have  committed to moving their operations to 100% renewable energy. The NetZeroToolkit exists to support companies that do not have the capacity of the largest global companies.

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