Businesses in the South West can now apply to The Heroes of Net Zero competition, launched by the Together for Our Planet campaign with partners BT, NatWest and SSE to find the UK’s best small businesses taking innovative steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The best entries will be invited to attend the COP26 international climate change summit in Glasgow on November 2, where the winners will be announced and receive an exclusive prize package worth £4,500:
- 21 hours consultancy with an Energy Manager and one-year free access to ‘Business Energy Intelligence’ energy management platform, worth £3,500, from SSE
- Six hours of bespoke mentoring with a NatWest Enterprise Manager from its Climate Accelerator programme, helping winning businesses gain climate friendly skills in accessing new markets to attracting talent, and
- Up to £1,000 in vouchers to access a brand-new digital advertising support package from BT to grow your business
A survey carried out in 2020 by the European Investment Bank found that over a third of UK business believe reducing CO2 emissions has a positive impact on demand for products and services. By spotlighting businesses that are leading the way, this competition hopes to inspire people across the South West with actions they can take that will benefit both the environment and their business.
The government’s Together for Our Planet campaign is run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
To take part in the Heroes of Net Zero competition, businesses must make a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the Government’s own climate commitment. To date 127 businesses from the South West have made this commitment. Entrants must then describe in 200 words the exciting measures they will take on the journey to net-zero. Reaching net-zero means the amount of greenhouse gas your business produces is no more than the amount taken away, eliminating all negative impact on the planet.
Open to businesses across the United Kingdom with fewer than 50 employees, the competition will be split into two categories:
Micro businesses – 1-9 employees
Small businesses – 10-50 employees
The winners and shortlist in each category will be selected by judges Andrew Griffith MP, the UK’s Business Net Zero Champion, James Close from NatWest Group, Gabrielle Giner from BT, and Marta Smart from SSE.
UK Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith said: "The Heroes of Net Zero competition gives businesses in the South West an exclusive opportunity to showcase how they are reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the run up to COP-26.
“Competition winners will lead the way by sharing creative examples of actions every UK business can take to help us build back greener."
Pete Oliver, Managing Director of SME at BT said: "We believe all businesses, large and small, have an important role to play in reducing worldwide carbon emissions, so we’re also urging our small business suppliers and customers to join us on the journey to net zero by signing up to the UK Business Climate Hub.
“The “Together For Our Planet” competition is a great way to showcase and celebrate the climate action small businesses are taking. We are delighted to be supporting the competition by giving away free spend for small businesses to access our new digital advertising solution that is launching soon.”
James Close, Head of Climate at NatWest Group said: “We want to be the UK’s leading bank in helping to address climate change, and are determined to play an active role in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy. This means encouraging and supporting businesses of all sizes in all sectors to make active and meaningful changes to their carbon footprint.
“We’re proud to be a supporter of the UK Government’s Heroes of Net Zero campaign and I’m looking forward to seeing the creative and innovative actions that UK businesses are taking to cut their emissions and contribute to a sustainable future for us all.”
Nikki Flanders, Managing Director of SSE’s customer business said: “For the UK to meet its net zero targets, it’s important that businesses of all sizes are empowered and inspired to take action and make sustainable choices. The Heroes of Net Zero competition is a great way to celebrate success as small businesses seek to advance their net zero journeys.
“SSE’s prize will reward the winners and help to accelerate their progress.”
Full competition details are available at: businessclimatehub.org/heroes-of-net-zero-competition