NatWest launches Carbon Planner for UK businesses to their carbon footprint

NatWest has launched Carbon Planner, a free to use digital platform aimed at helping UK businesses manage their future fuel and operational costs, as well as lower their carbon footprint.

Research from the bank found that over 72% of businesses expect their business will face increased difficulty considering inflationary challenges. The biggest challenges are the increased costs of energy (56%), increased cost of materials (56%) and increased interest rates (37%). Furthermore, 58% said they will need financial help to reduce their carbon footprint.

Another report from NatWest, ‘A Springboard to Sustainability’, estimates that between 55% – 70% of business cases to reduce emissions will make financial sense for SMEs by 2030.

The Carbon Planner platform will be available from 28 July 2022 and is tailored to give personalised actions. It helps teams make decisions as part of their own plan and see the financial impact of doing so. Additionally, the platform offers content and resources to help businesses make informed decisions so they can convert actions from planned to complete.

NatWest believes that if businesses can quickly understand their commercial and carbon impact, they will be better placed to navigate the currency inflation challenges and reduce emissions.

NatWest Group chief operating officer Solange Chamberlain said, “Businesses are coming under increasing pressure due to rising costs. Many are fundamentally strong businesses which are experiencing a massive shock to input prices.

“As a bank, we can help businesses invest to save by switching from volatile commodities to renewable sources with predictable prices, and support businesses in taking actions to measure, evaluate and act to reduce their climate impact.

“Every business should consider if cutting carbon could cut costs and it’s important that we support the business community explore their options through access to finance to invest in cost reducing measures like energy efficiency.”

Carbon Planner takes a business through four practical steps to help them act. First it informs them of their current emission hotspots and suggests alternatives. It then helps businesses understand what the best action for them is.

Following this, it helps to create a plan of actions. Finally, it signposts potential options available to them to take actions that can help the business and reduce the impact on the environment.

The platform was designed and developed with the support of over 1,000 businesses.

NatWest Group chief executive Alison Rose said, “Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges we face today, and small businesses have a critical role to play in helping the UK realise its green ambition.

“NatWest Group is committed to supporting its customers to understand and reduce their emissions. The launch of Carbon Planner is an important example of how we are putting tools in the hands of our customers to use their own data to cut costs and carbon emissions.”

ESG has become a major topic in the financial market.

Institutional investors are spending an average of $1.3m annually to collect, analyse and report climate data to inform their investment decisions, according to a study from ERM.

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