MORE than half of businesses in Sussex have taken action to cut their carbon emissions this year, according to a recent survey.

The survey, the largest of its kind on net zero planning among local firms, found that 58 per cent of the 50 businesses who responded have taken action to reduce carbon emissions in the past year, with 76 per cent considering the aim of reaching net zero to be important to their business.

However, 80 per cent of businesses said they had not measured their carbon footprint or set a carbon emissions, with 85 per cent are not currently investing in carbon offsetting.

The report was launched by the Coastal West Sussex Partnership and Low Carbon Leaders, a network of climate-conscious businesses established by Brighton digital marketing agency Propellernet.

Respondents to the survey were from the business community across a range of sectors, including companies in engineering and manufacturing, agriculture, property and construction, marketing, advertising, retail, IT and data services.

Low Carbon Leaders founder Sam Zindel, who has prioritised reaching net zero for his business Propellernet over the past two years, said: "It feels like we've made progress in mainstream business leaders understanding net zero and recognising it as relevant to them.

"While the majority of businesses have taken action to cut their carbon emissions, most of these steps were things like changing energy supplier or cutting down on business travel, rather than looking at purchased goods and services, which is often where a large chunk of carbon footprint lies."

In the survey, business leaders cited issues including a lack of funding, a lack of time and feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start as key barriers to reducing their carbon footprint.

Caroline Wood, director at Coastal West Sussex Partnership, said: "It's fantastic news that so many businesses see reducing their carbon emissions as important with many having taken action already.

"Sustainable growth is a top priority for the Coastal West Sussex Partnership and it's our role to help businesses take action to address the climate crisis, while also boosting our coastal economy.

"Collaboration and knowledge-sharing is key here and this is just the start of the conversation: all the takeaways from our Ideas Exchange will be fed back to local leaders so we can help businesses get the support they need, and we will have further workshops in early 2022."

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