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As businesses work towards Net Zero, survey reveals barriers to carbon neutrality

By Liam Tucker
2 August 2022

Business leaders believe the cost of implementing drive to net zero emissions is recouped in efficiency finds survey.

The latest Buckinghamshire Business Barometer survey from Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Bucks LEP) and Buckinghamshire Business First offers positive news regarding the first quarter of 2022.

The survey showed improved performance and trading conditions for many Buckinghamshire-based businesses. It seems rising costs, supply chain issues, less available workers and inflation pressures haven’t stopped businesses from moving forward.

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Whilst that news was positive, the survey also highlighted issues businesses are finding themselves up against as they drive towards Net Zero. 

92% of respondents to the survey had implemented at least one action to reduce carbon emissions, whilst half implemented four or more. On top of that, 79% intend to take action within the year.

Interestingly, in terms of barriers in the way of moving closer to net zero, respondents largely focused more on the costs of implementing change, and less so the availability of expertise. 45% of those surveyed believed that a reason for taking action was due to money saved from costs overall.

Reacting to the findings of the survey, Economic & Labour Market Analyst at Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, James Moorhouse said: “The survey answers help us to gain valuable insights into the local economy which we feed into our conversations with Government and other stakeholders. In addition, the answers and experiences also form part of our green economy audit to identify opportunities for Net Zero growth.”

Philippa Batting, Managing Director of Buckinghamshire Business First said: “Help is at hand for businesses that are reducing or want to reduce their carbon emissions.

“For more than a decade, Buckinghamshire Business First has taken a lead role in influencing, educating, and supporting local businesses to make practical changes to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.”

She added: “The Business Barometer results help us ensure effective support is in place to tackle the challenge head-on over the next critical decade.”

The Business Barometer survey also asked businesses in the region their plans for the next three months. Compared with the previous quarter, their responses showed improvement - particularly for investment and increasing headcount.

34% of respondents have plans to raise the finances over the next three months, that figure an improvement on the 17% of respondents in the previous three months. 

76% of firms reported that they will be investing in marketing/advertising during the next quarter, whilst 65% will invest in training and development and 58% in in digital technologies. Additionally, 53% plan to increase their headcount, with only 3% planning to decrease. If you’d like to know more, take a look at the fascinating full findings from the Barometer survey for quarter one of 2022: Buckinghamshire Economic Intelligence Observatory.

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