Going green: How UK logistics companies can secure grants to meet decarbonisation goals

by | May 16, 2024

As environmental sustainability becomes an essential mandate for businesses worldwide, logistics companies in the UK are increasingly focused on decarbonisation. With smaller businesses estimated to account for 50% of all UK business-driven emissions, the imperative for logistics firms to reduce their carbon footprints and adopt greener practices is more pressing than ever. This article explores how leveraging grants and funding can help logistics firms meet their environmental goals, reduce carbon emissions, and adopt greener practices, all while maintaining efficiency and competitiveness.

Statistical landscape of UK small business emissions

  • Awareness and action: While 76% of smaller businesses are at the early stages of implementing a decarbonisation strategy, 94% have taken at least one action to reduce their emissions. This indicates a growing recognition of the need for sustainable practices, even among those not yet fully committed to a comprehensive strategy.
  • Government and business priorities: Approximately 57% of smaller businesses are aware of the government’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. However, attitudes towards decarbonisation are split; 47% state that carbon reduction is a high or very high priority, while 53% are not yet ready to prioritise it.
  • Barriers to decarbonisation: The transition to a greener operational model is fraught with challenges. About 35% of small businesses cite costs—including upfront expenses—as a significant barrier to reducing carbon emissions, with over 20 different barriers identified that prevent action towards net zero.

Harnessing grants for sustainable logistics operations

Investing in renewable energy solutions

Switching to renewable energy sources is a fundamental step towards decarbonisation. Logistics companies can utilise grants to install solar panels and wind energy systems at their facilities. These investments not only help reduce carbon emissions but also significantly lower energy costs in the long run.

Upgrading to electric vehicle fleets

Transitioning from diesel to electric vehicles (EVs) is essential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in logistics. Grants and special funding programs are available to support the purchase of EVs and the installation of charging stations. This shift not only helps companies hit their decarbonisation targets but also prepares them for future regulations favouring cleaner transportation options.

Implementing energy-efficient warehouse technologies

Modernising warehouses with energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lighting, automated HVAC systems, and energy management software, can drastically reduce energy use. Funding opportunities often cover these types of upgrades, enabling logistics companies to enhance their operations while minimising their environmental impact.

Adopting rainwater harvesting and waste reduction systems

Implementing rainwater harvesting systems helps reduce water consumption, a significant aspect of sustainable operations. Additionally, investing in waste reduction strategies, such as recycling and composting systems funded by environmental grants, further supports a logistics company’s green initiatives.

Finance as an enabler to net zero transition

  • Access to Finance: Only 11% of smaller businesses have accessed external finance to support net zero actions so far, equating to approximately 700,000 businesses.
  • Future Plans: About 22% are prepared to access external finance to support net zero actions in the next five years, equating to around 1.3 million businesses.

Where to access these funds

  • Financial help for EVs: Explore funding options for electric vehicles at Business Climate Hub.
  • Find finance and support across the UK: Discover various financial supports available throughout the UK at Business Climate Hub.
  • Use Swoop as a comparison tool for various types of funding that may help your business.

Final thoughts

For UK logistics companies, meeting decarbonisation targets is not just about compliance but also about moving towards a sustainable future. Grants and funding provide a vital resource in this transition, offering financial support for a wide range of green initiatives. By focusing on renewable energy, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and waste reduction, logistics firms can significantly advance their sustainability goals.

To navigate the complexities of obtaining grants for environmental projects, it’s advisable to work with a chartered accountant who specialises in green funding. Their expertise can guide you through the application process, help optimise your financial strategy for sustainability, and ultimately, assist in transforming your logistics operations into a model of environmental stewardship.

All statistics referenced in this article are sourced from the British Business Bank.

For more information on how you can access funding, please do not hesitate to contact us. 


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