Businesses are aiming to reduce their carbon footprint with the help of Ulster Bank Carbon Planner.
The easy-to-use tool, created to help all businesses, not just Ulster Bank customers, gives recommendations on how to reduce carbon emissions and tackle rising fuel & energy bills.
Launched in response to customer feedback which highlighted some businesses are unaware of their firm’s carbon emissions, the online tool has been successfully piloted with a number of SMEs and is now being rolled out more widely to customers and non-customers alike.
Research from Ulster Bank’s parent, NatWest, found that with the right support the UK’s six million SMEs can contribute to up to 50% of the UK’s Net Zero decarbonisation goals by 2030 worth an estimated £160 billion in revenue.
But to make these contributions, business must be able to identify their emissions and have a better understanding of where they can introduce improvements.
The Carbon Planner tool is designed with specialist climate insight and feedback from more than 3,000 businesses, with Teemore Engineering, the Co. Fermanagh-based livestock housing specialists among the first companies to trial Carbon Planner.
Taking the user through a series of questions, it measures, evaluates, and creates a list of recommendations that could help the business improve its carbon footprint through greater insight.
Cormac McKervey, head of climate at Ulster Bank, said: “We know many SMEs are committed to switching to greener business practices, but many remain unsure about where to start on their sustainability journey.
“We understand that small businesses especially won’t have the time or resources needed to fully understand their environmental impact, so we hope the Carbon Planner feature will provide them with a quick and easy way to get a better handle on this important data.
“Data shows that when firms have a better grasp of the carbon impact of their business operations, they are in a stronger position commercially which, given the current inflationary pressures, is an attractive proposition for all businesses.
“Earlier in the year a number of businesses across Northern Ireland began trialling the Carbon Planner tool and we are hearing this has made considerable improvements to their operations.
“Responsible business owners want to play their part and contribute to the drive to reduce emissions, but it can be difficult to know where to start and if it’s a lengthy, laborious process then quite often the day to day business will have to take priority.
“Feedback received to date shows that Carbon Planner provides an overview of carbon emissions and introduces ways businesses can easily make savings and introduce more transformations to reach net-zero.”
The free to use digital platform is now available for all businesses in Northern Ireland and is part of Ulster Bank’s broader commitment to support business go and grow greener.
Through its parent group, Ulster Bank has access to a fund of £100 billion in climate and sustainable funding and financing which it plans to lend to businesses by the end of 2025.
Business customers also have access to the online Climate Hub which provides help and information on a range of measures such as how to apply for green loans or access green asset financing.
To learn more about how Ulster Bank can support your business become more sustainable, visit www.ulsterbank.co.uk where you can sign up to Carbon Planner free of charge.