Carbon Trust Guide Helps SMEs Benefit from UK's Green Growth

Small and medium-sized businesses across the UK can benefit from advice on how to unlock their potential for green growth thanks to a new guide on green business released by the Carbon Trust. 

The market for green goods and services is already valued at £112 billion in the UK alone and the Carbon Trust believes that SMEs can profit from accelerating growth in the green economy.

However, recent research from the Carbon Trust shows that not all small businesses are aware of the opportunities. More than half of the UK's SMEs (52 per cent) see a greener economy as a threat. Almost half believe that reaping the benefits of green growth requires access to capital, less than a third (29 per cent) expect it to lead to increased profits and only 22 per cent are investing in greener products or services.

The Carbon Trust's practical, hands-on guide – Green Your Business for Growth - gives SMEs advice on how to:

  • Take advantage of the multiple benefits of green growth
  • Identify green growth opportunities specific to their organisation
  • Develop a green growth strategy
  • Reduce their environmental impact
  • Green their products and services
  • Increase their competitive advantage

The free guide can be downloaded at and includes templates for energy and environment policies, as well as a useful checklist to assess current sustainability.

Ian Gibson, Director of Delivery Programmes at the Carbon Trustcommented: 
"We want to help Britain's small firms to seize the opportunities presented by green growth through cutting costs or developing greener products and services.
"Businesses that do not embrace the green economy risk losing out. As larger firms look to reduce carbon in their supply chains, SMEs that don’t act now could get cut out in favour of greener competitors”

One example of an SME using its green credentials to win major new contracts is Lamport Gilbert, a printing business based in Reading with 40 employees.

By investing in green technology, Lamport Gilbert is reducing its overheads and improving profitability and can market the business as one of the UK’s leading eco-print providers. Not only is this environmental positioning helping it win business, but it has also reduced its annual energy spend by around 10,000.

“There’s no doubt that being greener has won us new business,” said Lamport Gilbert’s managing director Andy Robbins.

“Large companies are looking for higher environmental standards from their suppliers and unless you can prove you are doing your bit, you will miss out on opportunities.”

The Lowry Hotel, a five star hotel in Manchester, is another SME that is benefiting from green growth. It has reduced its carbon emissions by 11 per cent and has reported an increase in business and customer loyalty after promoting its energy efficiency measures.

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The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company with the mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy, providing specialist support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies. 

By stimulating low carbon action we contribute to key UK goals of lower carbon emissions, the development of low carbon businesses, increased energy security and associated jobs. 
We help to cut carbon emissions now by:

Providing specialist advice and finance to help organisations cut carbon

Setting standards for carbon reduction

We reduce potential future carbon emissions by:

Opening markets for low carbon technologies

Leading industry collaborations to commercialise technologies

Investing in early stage low carbon companies