The British Standards Institution, known as the BSI, has released its Net Zero Barometer Report 2023. The report carried out a survey that questioned 1,000 decision makers in senior positions within SMEs (small and medium-sized businesses).

The survey found that overall awareness surrounding the need to reach net zero is high, with 82% stating that they believe it is important to both set and achieve net zero targets and goals. Since 2020’s report, awareness has risen significantly to almost triple 2020’s awareness result.

Although this result is positive, the survey also shows that many SMEs are struggling to incorporate net zero into their business models. As a third of decision makers surveyed claimed that they are extremely confident towards planning how their SME is going to reach net zero.

Out of these SMEs around 500 of them do not have a net zero plan, or policies, in place, and roughly 200 of them, in regards to cutting emissions, are measuring their progress and reporting on it.

The survey found that these SMEs are working towards smaller issues, as 38% have energy efficient lighting fitted into their workplaces and 44% have successfully worked towards reducing their waste.

There is still more work to be done by SMEs in Britain as 17% have claimed that they have not as yet become more sustainable, as they are yet to make any key changes. Many SMEs, however, have claimed that making these changes has become increasingly difficult due to the energy price crisis and the cost-of-living crisis.

BSI’s Director-General Standards and Executive Director, Scott Steedman stated that:


“At a time where the attention of many SME leaders is being diverted by economic pressures, they want help to navigate a path that is both credible and realistic. SMEs want to understand both where they are on this journey, and what that transition means for them and their stakeholders.”