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Small businesses struggling to go green? How digital tools can help

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Anne Ascharsobi

Dec 13, 2021

With COP26 now behind us, did we make any progress in the small business community? We all have a role to play in fighting climate change, and while small businesses may be battling many challenges on the home front – from Brexit fallout to Covid recovery and more – there are still ways to contribute to this, our greatest fight. 

While no single business or organisation has all the answers, what everyone can do is take action by making reductions to their carbon footprint. 

Putting your best foot forward

Calculating your carbon footprint – the first key step in tackling the business’ impact on the environment – is often a granular, laborious process. 

There isn’t much support for small businesses looking to make a tangible impact on their carbon footprint, while putting sustainable practices in place can be seen as complicated and expensive. 

Thankfully, there are digital tools available on the new Xero App Store that enable small businesses to simplify this process.

One of these tools is Spherics – an app that automates the process of carbon accounting, offering a comprehensive snapshot of the environmental impact of a business in minutes. Spherics combines transaction data from Xero with a carbon intensity database to convert pounds spent with a merchant into an estimated Carbon Dioxide equivalent.

What does this mean in practice? For small businesses, the hugely time-consuming, finicky process of capturing every carbon-intensive aspect of their operations is instead carried out – quickly, affordably and with accuracy. 

Ghyston, a software firm in Bristol, uses Spherics’s ‘spend-based’ method of estimating emissions. They have come up with an accurate baseline carbon footprint estimate that is constantly being refined in line with new commercial decisions and up to date transaction data. 

Share your sustainability story

This is just scratching the surface of the work done by a number of Xero’s partners, delivering solutions to help small firms achieve their sustainability goals. 

It’s good to know that businesses can take matters into their own hands and effect genuine change right now. Xero would love to hear your stories about how you’re doing just that. 

In the meantime, if you’re looking to get started on your sustainability journey, check out our small business sustainability hub.

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