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cynal cymru


28 September 2023
SME Climate Taskforce

SMEs and Sustainability – Many Routes on the Same Journey


Ben Cottam, 

Head of Wales, 



There is rightly a huge amount of focus on climate change and the danger this poses to people, communities and economies around the world.

Multiple accounts of disastrous flooding, wildfires and other examples of the impact of the world’s rising temperature drive home the need for all of us to play a role in reducing carbon emissions – in Wales and across the world.

Wales’ business community has to be – and will be – a critical part of addressing some of these challenges through changes to their own operations as well as delivering services, products and innovation which assist other organisations and us as consumers to do the same.

Businesses across Wales will approach reducing their carbon footprint in very different ways, at different paces and with different levels of knowledge. For some, this is an intrinsic part of their business model or even their product. For others, this is a journey that will require them to rethink the way that they operate on a fundamental level. For all businesses, we must ensure that their contributions are recognised and supported by Government, funders, customers and supply chains.

At FSB, we know that the challenge in some of this for smaller businesses is knowing where to start. You might need the right data on your current carbon footprint to understand where you go on reducing it. Many smaller businesses occupy premises which they don’t own so even understanding your energy usage can be difficult to untangle.

In addition, what might seem like small investments for some, such as the move to electric delivery vehicles or installing energy-efficient freezers can be proportionality huge for a micro business and require careful financial planning, investment and management. We know too that while the pressures of the energy crisis have caused smaller businesses to look carefully at reducing consumption or look at greener energy sources, available funding or a lack of awareness of it may get in the way of making that change.

That’s why FSB has collated a wide range of resources for FSB members as well as a number available free on our website. These resources can help businesses to get started on their decarbonisation journey. Additionally, it’s why we’re partnering with organisations such as those in the Wales SME Taskforce to help businesses find their way to the support they need in the most timely and convenient way possible.

We’re also a leading business organisation in working with and lobbying governments in Wales and across the wider UK to make sure that grant funding and loans are made available through support to support the ambitions of businesses to not only make the first steps but to make change permanent and grow their own sustainability agenda.

Whatever the external pressures, we know Welsh small businesses are embracing the opportunities of net zero with enthusiasm and determination. They are proving that environmental responsibility and economic growth can go hand in hand.

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