Net zero is a priority for four fifths (80 per cent) of start-ups, with 72 per cent working to achieve carbon neutrality and 8 per cent already carbon neutral or negative according to research from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Innovate UK found that while start-ups are passionate about their climate impact, they are divided over whether it should be a priority over business growth. Nearly half (45 per cent) of start-ups believe they should balance growth and sustainability, versus four in 10 (42 per cent) believe growth is more important, but start-ups should try to be sustainable in their activities where possible.
Start-ups believe that the number one thing a company can do to reduce its carbon footprint is to innovate around a solution which combats climate change (38 per cent), followed by encouraging sustainability in its supply chain (24 per cent) and reducing emissions from its operations (17 per cent). Just 15 per cent of start-ups suggested that restricting business travel by choosing online meetings was most important.
Start-ups view renewable energy infrastructure (30 per cent) as the most important innovation to long-term sustainability. This is closely followed by recycling, waste management and sustainable materials (29 per cent). Only 8 per cent of start-ups cited renewable and energy efficient transport, such as electric vehicles, as the most important area for sustainable innovation.