What is the climate impact of a small business?

climate impact small business

The time to respond to climate change is now. Businesses of all sizes will have a role to play in our decarbonising efforts. They will need to adopt sustainability practices and reduce actions that harm the planet.

Small businesses know they must act and want to act. Generally, however, they do not know where to begin. What’s more, they face other obstacles that are less common for larger enterprises, such as a lack of resources. 

Every business has a climate impact, and collective efforts make a huge difference. So what is the climate impact of a small business or SME? Let’s explore this further below and see how SMEs can tackle the climate crisis head-on.

How do SMEs contribute to climate change?

As mentioned previously, businesses of all sizes have a role to play in tackling global warming. For instance, businesses impact the planet by releasing carbon emissions from their operations. 

Just like individuals, businesses, too, have a carbon footprint. Therefore, it is vital to measure the impact of your business on the planet and make changes. These changes should be in your practices.

For instance, conserving energy and water and using more sustainable packaging. In addition, creating products that last longer and will not threaten the planet once they are discarded can make a big difference. 

How can a small business tackle climate change and address sustainability? 

Just as small businesses impact the environmental issues we face, they can also harness their power to achieve global change. SMEs have a unique role to play in addressing worldwide environmental challenges. 

Their set of resources and perspectives are unlike any other businesses in the dynamic. What makes them different from larger companies is their brilliant ability to solve problems by creating new products and services. SMEs can also be critical drivers in curbing greenhouse gas emissions globally. 

Ultimately, they can help by devising solutions that help all in society. One example is that most small businesses set up shop in already established spaces. This may not appear to be a big deal, but this minimises the need for digging up land for construction, which is more so associated with larger enterprises. 

Small businesses are also usually local, so they are generally very connected to their community. They care about seeing their community thrive and help to ensure that. 

This care also translates to their customers, who are very loyal to them due to their major focus on ensuring their needs are met. As a result, customers are too encouraged to do good and bring about positive change. 


According to a 2021 International Trade Centre (ITC) survey, over half of African firms reported that becoming more sustainable has resulted in improvements in the quality and output of their products, reduced input costs, new market access, and a better opportunity to avail of green finance. The business case for becoming environmentally sustainable is clear, and the time to act is now. Every business has an impact, and every change makes a difference. This is especially the case when companies work collectively worldwide.

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