The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference and is scheduled to be held in Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November 2021, under the presidency of the United Kingdom.
So what? Well, on 12 June 2019, the Government amended the Climate Change Act to introduce a target for at least a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2050, compared to 1990 levels and those changes are going to mean big changes to the way we all do business.
Those changes will affect both products and services, and it will mean some practices ending, some new products and services being created, and shifts in attitudes across the board, from your customers, your suppliers, your partners, and your people.
But this is nothing new and it started many years ago in some areas. Think of vehicles being taxed based on their on CO2 emissions or the various incentives available to make domestic properties more thermally efficient buildings.
So now we know it will definitely be happening, the big question is what you are going to do about it in your business, and will you be leading or will you be following?
Tackling climate change is a daunting prospect, for government, for society, for business, and for all of us as individuals, but fortunately help is available. Businesses can tap into a variety of sources of support at local and national level so here are our top tips for developing your approach:
1. Turn On Your Radar
Familiarise yourself with the issues and focus on the impacts affecting your business and your industry. Are you at high or low risk? Are those risks immediate, medium or long term? Does it require an individual response or an industry-wide response?
2. Find Sources of Support
Understand what advice, grants, loans or other support are available from your local LEP, the Carbon Trust or Innovate UK etc.
3. Develop an Innovation Strategy
Assess whether climate change presents opportunities or threats to your business? Are you a polar bear about to have the ice melt under or your feet as your business model crumbles in the face of new regulation or are you about to soar like an eagle on the back of an innovative new, product, service or business model? What innovation is required to move you forward?
4. Budget Accordingly
Do your sums and understand the cost benefit analysis of doing something and doing nothing. Build those costs into your budgets and understand the impact on your bottom line and your cash flow
5. Involve Your Team
A problem shared is a problem halved as they say. Make your people part of the solution and not part of the problem as you address impacts at all levels of your business
6. Ask For Help
Few of us are experts so if you are struggling with the issues ask for assistance from your local Growth Manager, a trade body or Innovate UK
At Innovate UK EDGE we are here to help with innovation so if you are an ambitious business needing support with innovation then get in touch and let us help you – Here