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UK SMEs can save £400 million a year through carbon footprint reduction and certification

The Carbon Trust Standard launches a free guide helping growing businesses measure, manage and reduce their carbon emissions and energy costs

UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could collectively save nearly £400 million per year in energy costs, and over 2.5 million tonnes of C02, by reducing their carbon footprints and certifying their efforts under the Carbon Trust Standard.

The Carbon Trust Standard SME Online Certification is the only tool designed specifically to help small business’ certify their carbon footprint reductions.

SMEs using the tool have, on average, cut their energy costs by £2,000 per year, and their carbon footprints by 13 tonnes CO2.

Harry Morrison, General Manager, the Carbon Trust Standard, said:

“Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the UK economy, and reducing their collective carbon footprint could play a major part in ensuring we meet the UK’s target to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by 2020. What you can measure, you can reduce, so we believe there’s a major opportunity for every business to cut costs and carbon by taking action and achieving certification.”

Recognising the key role that UK SMEs play in meeting the UK’s carbon emission targets, and achieving green growth for the UK economy, the Carbon Trust Standard today launched a free online guide to help growing business’ cut energy costs and carbon. The Growing Business’ Guide to Managing Carbon can be downloaded for free at:


The new Carbon Trust Standard guide provides a range of information to enable growing businesses to save cash and increase efficiency by measuring, managing and reducing their carbon, and to boost their reputations by becoming a Carbon Trust Standard bearer.

Key topics covered in the guide include:

• How to measure and monitor an organisation’s carbon footprint
• How to collect accurate energy data
• How to create a meaningful energy policy
• The benefits of reducing emissions and how to start reporting on carbon
• How you can use independent carbon footprint certification to grow your business.

SME specific news and facts:

• Collectively SMEs account for 45% of UK business energy use (Source: Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Enterprise Directorate “SMEs in a Low Carbon Economy” January 2009).
• Across all sectors, SMEs have the greatest saving potential (20%) compared to larger organisations (8%) (Source: Carbon Trust Research 2009).
• Energy costs are forecast to rise by 26% by 2020 (Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change, Annual Energy Statement, July 2010).
• Organisations outside of the CRC, the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and Climate Change Agreements (CCA) account for approximately 25% of all non-domestic emissions (Source: Carbon Trust Research 2009).

About the Carbon Trust Standard

• All businesses and organisations, both in the UK and internationally, are eligible to apply for the Carbon Trust Standard including FTSEs, mid caps, SMEs and public sector organisations. Organisations that are awarded the Carbon Trust Standard hold it for a two year period and to maintain the certification they must re-apply and demonstrate that they have continued to make year-on-year reductions in their carbon emissions.

• Organisations wanting information about getting the Carbon Trust Standard can call: 0800 019 1443 or visit www.carbontruststandard.com
• More than 500 organisations have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard since it was launched in June 2008.
• The total carbon footprint certified by the Carbon Trust Standard is now nearly 43 million tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to over 18% of the total carbon footprint of UK businesses and transport.
• Through a commitment to continually reduce their carbon footprints, Carbon Trust Standard achievers have collectively cut their emissions by over 3.6 million tonnes of CO2, and saved the equivalent of over £165 million associated with reductions in gas, electricity and fuel use.
• Organisations that are certified with the Carbon Trust Standard are listed at www.carbontruststandard.com/pages/current-standard-bearers
• The Carbon Trust Standard online application process has been designed to enable small and growing businesses to be assessed and certified cost effectively against the requirements of the Carbon Trust Standard. The new service is available to organisations with an energy spend of up to £50,000.