Sustainable Business: Net Zero 


The UK economy is legally bound to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and reduce carbon emissions by 60% by 2035 from today’s levels. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) also has a regional target of net zero by 2041.

Therefore, business and industry will have to reduce their carbon emissions in line with these targets. How businesses respond to this and the associated opportunities and risks will influence their future survival and profitability.

Why is Business Progress to Net Zero Important?

The world and Birmingham have a problem: increased greenhouse gasses (GHG) are raising global average temperatures, causing increase extreme weather and strain on natural resources, which costs economies billions.

Greenhouse gases trap heat; carbon dioxide is the most prevalent and so is focussed on the most. Human activity is the main cause of this. In our region, GHGs and air pollution cost around £2.5 billion annually. This risks public health, and investment for the region.

This business imperative has caused increased environmental concerns, increased consumer and supplier pressure, and environmental contract stipulations to reach net zero for businesses, meaning they need to adapt.

This presents many opportunities and risks:

✔ Lower costs
✔ Increase efficiency
✔ Improved reputation
✔ New business opportunities
✔ Business resilience
✔ First-mover advantages 
✔ Meet legal obligations
❌Extreme weather (heatwaves, storms)
- Asset damages
- Supply chain disruption
- Resource shortages

❌Transitional changes
- Technology, market and regulation could increase costs, affect asset value and destabilise existing products and services

Chamber Support

COP 26

COP 26 is an international event comprising of representatives from 197 countries to agree climate action.

The event ran from 31st October to 12th November 2021, and many agreements to protect and enhance the environment were made between business, governments and other stakeholders. See below for content debreifing the key outcomes.

Blog: What were the main agreements from COP 26? - Click here

Blog: COP 26:Time to prepare your company for a sustainable future – Click here

Blog: COP 26: Clean Energy Transitions: Reducing global temperatures through heat decarbonisation - Click here

Blog: COP 26: How businesses can support the regeneration of nature - click here

Video: COP 26 Debrief - What do the outcomes mean for businesses?:

Thank you to our Headline Sponsors:

The Sustainable Business Summit

This Summit will help you understand your businesses role in progressing to net zero, as well as the opportunities and challenges that will come from the net zero transition.

Join this once a year Summit to acquire the know-how for building a more environmentally sustainable and resilient business.

View Event details

Expression of Interest:

If your business would like to contribute to The Sustainable Business Series 2021: Net Zero content, please register your interest below.

Click Here

Policy Briefings

NEW: This energy crisis briefing explores the issues that businesses are experiencing from high energy costs, what businesses can do, the support available through the Chamber, and the Chamber’s position on the issue

View Briefing Paper Here

This report collates the research findings from the 2021 Sustainable Business Series to provide an overview of businesses response to environmental sustainability and net zero.

View Briefing Paper Here

Our ‘Net Zero and the Business Community’ briefing paper details why net zero is important for businesses, the economic and commercial opportunities it presents, and legal and compliance obligations. It also highlights what businesses can start to do to prepare for the transition.

View Briefing Paper Here

We have consulted with our members to form recommendations to the Government to support business progress to net zero. To view click below

View Briefing Paper Here

Net Zero

Guidance and Additional Support

Various initiatives assist with informing the practical steps to take, progressing your environmental performance and improving the management of your business to contribute to net zero. See below.

EcoPledge - Sutton Coldfield

This is a local initiative led by the Sutton Coldfield Chamber. It details the small changes businesses can make to reduce their environmental impact, and impact their bottom line. The pledge has gained traction and spans multiple Greater Birmingham Chambers.

Find Out More Here

Net Zero

West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge

A regional initiative covering any organisation across the 18 local authority areas of the WMCA. Sustainability West Midlands are administering the pledge and supporting organisations progress towards their pledge.

Find Out More Here

Net Zero

SME Climate Hub

A national initiative with a specific focus on SMEs. The hub provides various tools, resources and support to manage your businesses transition to net zero.

Find Out More Here

Net Zero

Zero Carbon Business

A partnership between business organisations, energy networks and professional bodies to give small businesses the advice they need to reduce their carbon emissions

Find Out More Here

Net Zero