Climate guidance for London businesses

Climate guidance for London businesses
Grow London Local
Grow London LocalMatching London small businesses to support

Posted: Mon 4th Mar 2024

The science is clear that we need to tackle climate change with urgency. Research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shown that global warming will affect millions of people if we don't reduce our emissions in the next decades globally and at home.

London's businesses are responsible for a third of the capital's emissions, and businesses are also essential to helping residents and other sectors tackle their emissions.

This means that businesses must take action, alongside residents and communities, to make sure our buildings are energy-efficient, our transport networks are clean and our energy is green. We must work together to meet London's climate goals.

Learn more about the support available to London businesses

How to act on climate change

This guide aims to support you in your efforts to reduce the emissions linked to your operations, supply chain and the wider community.

Learn about the steps you can take to plan climate action, including specific resources for different sectors. They will help you to build your business case, choose climate actions, roll them out and then monitor the results and share success stories.

Top tip: learn about commonly used terms with Science Based Target's jargon buster.

Step 1: measure emissions

You should first look at where your organisation is creating emissions. This may include:

  • Emissions from your buildings and vehicles from using energy and fossil fuels.

  • Emissions suppliers generate when creating and delivering your products or carrying out services for you.

  • Emissions that result from things you manufacture, design or sell.

  • Emissions from your employee pension schemes and investments.

Measure your emissions baseline in as much detail as you can and set a reduction target.

You can find more information about measuring your emissions from the SME Climate Hub and the SME Carbon Footprint Calculator.

Step 2: develop the business case

Building a business case for climate action may be useful in giving you a cost-benefit analysis of the actions you're considering. It can also help with bringing senior management on board.

The business case should show:

  • The financial costs and potential returns of taking action.

  • The timescales involved.

  • Any secondary implications for the business.

For example, whether parts of a building might be temporarily out of use or product lines need redesigning.

If you need to reduce operational costs, you may have a strong case for investing in energy efficiency measures. If your business is customer-facing, a key part of your business case could be how you communicate your environmental credentials.

Other factors to support your business case could include:

  • The need to keep to regulations.

  • Public perception.

  • Giving your business a competitive edge.

  • Meeting the expectations of everyone who has a stake in your business (such as investors, suppliers and the local community).

  • Retaining and attracting new staff.

  • Increasing sales.

  • Lowering operating costs.

  • Bringing your operations into line with your company's ethos and values.

Step 3: plan climate actions

Actions to reduce emissions vary in terms of cost, impact and ease. Choosing what's right for your company will depend on your budget, core activities, resources and preferred timeframe for achieving the actions.

Once you understand these, you can choose which actions to prioritise based on the key drivers you identified in your business case.

Take a look at these useful guides which outline climate actions for your business across a range of sectors:

Top tip: if your business doesn't fit neatly into one of these categories, just pick the one that is most similar as many of the actions are relevant to a number of sectors.

Step 4: roll out climate actions

To make a success of your chosen climate actions, you may need to assess in more detail the costs, the benefits and the resources you're going to need. This phase will help you establish a project plan to guide the process.

This could include:

  • Commissioning a professional audit – especially advisable for measures to reduce energy and retrofit buildings.

  • Researching potential suppliers, costs and lead-in times of products or services needed to put your chosen actions in place.

  • Liaising with your landlord or building management company.

Next, you should consider appointing an internal champion or project manager. Depending on the measures you're taking, their role could include:

  • Project management against a formal project plan.

  • Staff liaison and training (in new systems or procedures).

  • Keeping customers informed of any changes that could affect them.

  • Finding and identifying suppliers.

  • Monitoring timelines and budgets against the project plan.

  • Co-ordinating roles and responsibilities of directors, managers and staff as appropriate.

Step 5: monitoring, recognition and spreading the word


Monitoring the change in your organisation's emissions is the best way to understand if your climate action has been successful.

However, if measuring the change in emissions is too difficult, you can measure key indicators instead, such as the number of lightbulbs switched to LEDs, or how far you've managed to reduce your consumption of a particular product.


Recognition is vital to making sure that climate actions are rolled out successfully. You should recognise and celebrate the success of those who have taken or are championing climate action.

This is also a great way to promote the importance of these efforts to the wider company. You could use company awards or climate action-based performance bonus schemes for example.

Spreading the word

Spreading the word can help share the impact of your climate actions to a wider audience. You can do this through direct communication channels like your company website, social media accounts, marketing materials or annual report. You could also use industry-wide channels, for example, industry events or industry body publications.


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