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Survey reveals business attitudes to net zero in Wales

(Adobe Stock)

A recent survey carried out by Chambers Wales has revealed the attitudes of Welsh businesses to net zero commitments.

Chambers Wales’ Quarterly Economic Survey is part of a British Chambers of Commerce UK-wide survey and the data gathered from responses is closely followed by governments, policymakers, the Bank of England and wider media.

Over one hundred businesses took part in the independent survey of business sentiment to record the challenges and opportunities they encountered during the third quarter of the year, as well as their plans to achieve net zero.

Net zero is an important facet to mitigate global warming and is a commitment to ensure a balance between greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and those removed from it.

Businesses can work towards net zero by reducing the emissions that a company makes directly, the emissions it makes indirectly, and the emissions associated through its supply chain.

The Quarterly Economic Survey revealed that although almost 65% of Welsh businesses somewhat understand net zero and its implications in theory, only 14% had already implemented a strategy to help their company reach net zero and 26% were in the process of developing a strategy.

Over half of respondents had not yet created a strategy to reach net zero, citing reasons including uncertainty of how to proceed, other business concerns taking priority at the current time and no firm plans to implement a strategy.

The main issues identified as barriers to improving the environmental sustainability of businesses were upfront adaptation costs, a lack of finance, capital or grants, and a lack of relevant information, with almost three quarters of Welsh businesses highlighting interventions such as access to grants, reduction in cost of new technologies and impartial bespoke advice as appropriate actions which would encourage their business to reduce its carbon consumption within the next six months.

Paul Slevin, President of Chambers Wales, said: “Our Quarterly Economic Survey records the mood and issues facing businesses in Wales and it is helpful to learn of their mindsets towards reducing carbon emissions as Wales works towards its target of achieving net zero by 2050.

“It is clear that more support, particularly practical guidance and resources, is needed to help companies develop bespoke strategies that work for their business and supply chain to reduce direct and indirect emissions. As businesses continue to feel the impact of the pandemic and Brexit, we need to make the road to sustainability as accessible and easy to understand as possible.”