How Has COP26 Impacted Your Business?

Guest blog by Simon Monoghan – Innovate UK EDGE North.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, was held in Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November 2021, under the presidency of the United Kingdom.

The conference attracted leaders from around the world and saw a flurry of national commitments to meeting Net Zero at different points over the next half century.

The UK is seen as a leader in terms of achieving Net Zero and in 2019 the Government amended the Climate Change Act to introduce a target for at least a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, and those targets are going to mean big changes to the way we all do business.

This will impact both products and services, and it will mean some practices ending, some new products and services being created, and shifts in attitudes across the board, from your customers, your suppliers, your partners, and your people.

Based on recent coverage of the issues around COP26 it is reasonable to ask if this will affect the way you think about climate change or if it will change the way you do business? Will you be leading or will you be following? Will you be doing the absolute minimum or are you committed to meaningful change?

Tackling climate change is a daunting prospect for us all but fortunately, help is available. Businesses can tap into a variety of sources of support at a local and national level so here is a reminder of our top tips:

Turn On Your Radar

Familiarise yourself with the issues and focus on the impacts affecting your business and your industry. Are you at high or low risk? Are those risks immediate, medium or long term? Does it require an individual response or an industry-wide response?

Find Sources of Support

Understand what advice, grants, loans, or other support are available from your local LEP, the Carbon Trust, or Innovate UK.

Develop an Innovation Strategy

Assess whether climate change presents opportunities or threats to your business? Are you a polar bear about to have the ice melt under or your feet as your business model crumbles in the face of new regulation or are you about to soar like an eagle on the back of an innovative new, product, service, or business model? What innovation is required to move you forward?

Budget Accordingly

Do your sums and understand the cost-benefit analysis of doing something and doing nothing. Build those costs into your budgets and understand the impact on your bottom line and your cash flow

Involve Your Team

A problem shared is a problem halved as they say. Make your people part of the solution and not part of the problem as you address impacts at all levels of your business

Ask For Help

Few of us are experts so if you are struggling with the issues ask for assistance from your local Growth Manager, a trade body, or Innovate UK

At Innovate UK EDGE we are here to help with innovation so if you are an ambitious business needing support with innovation then get in touch and let us help you –