The struggle for SMEs to lower their carbon footprint

Written by
Sophie de Jonge
May 20, 2022
min read

In an article recently published by the Harvard Business Review, it has been established that SMEs generally have a hard time reducing their carbon footprint due to a lack of resources.

At Coolset, we believe small businesses are more willing than ever to step up in the fight against the climate crisis; however, most resources aimed at assisting companies in lowering their carbon footprint are not designed for SMEs (small-and-medium enterprises).

Although big businesses are by far the largest polluters, the accumulation of emissions coming from small businesses is not something we can ignore when aiming to halve global emissions by 2030.  

When accumulated, SMEs have a significant impact on the environment and on the communities in which they operate. In addition, it is worth addressing that SMEs have the potential to develop breakthrough technologies and innovations that will enable businesses and consumers to reduce their emissions.

We need to build an ecosystem that allows SMEs to go further and achieve Net-Zero.


What are the benefits for SMEs?

New significant regulations on carbon accounting are being announced by the US and the EU, broadening the scope of companies that must take climate action in order to continue doing business.  We're talking about over 50,000 European businesses and every publicly traded company in the United States.

And perhaps the most important requirement is the responsibility to report on their scope 3 emissions, i.e. those of their suppliers and consultants, resulting from the use of their products and the services supplied by SMEs.

This is resulting in new opportunities for SMEs as large enterprises have a vested interest in choosing partners who choose to measure and reduce their emissions. In the upcoming business environment, SMEs that make an effort to report on their carbon emissions and take action to reduce them will have a significant advantage.

Implementing carbon accounting into their organization will significantly help SMEs to attract more partners, customers, talents, as well as investors interest.



How to get started

As mentioned, the key obstacle in a SMEs journey towards net-zero is the lack of tailored resources.

After hearing the struggle of small businesses to implement sustainability into their activity, Coolset created the first all-in-one decarbonization platform for SMEs.

We understand that SMEs are high-impact companies and cannot afford to spend all of their valuable time training an in-house carbon accounting expert or spend a fortune on consultants.

Coolset calculates companies’ carbon emissions and pinpoints the biggest emissions hotspots by using autonomous climate analytics methods and reporting tool, through various integrations with existing business software. Businesses can now easily report on their carbon footprint and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, which is critical for attracting Gen Z talent and investors.

We focus solely on helping SMEs achieve this goal by providing insights into carbon hotspots at a fitting price point and therefore presenting a solution to this overarching problem amongst SMEs. SMEs are therefore able to participate in the battle towards a more sustainable future with innovative ways of measuring emissions. ‚Äć


Key points

Climate action can provide short-term cost savings and long-term economic resilience, but the expenses and effort necessary to innovate in particular areas can be enormous.

If the business community is serious about halving emissions by 2030, then large corporations must engage their suppliers and consumers across size, sector, and geography.

Scope 3 emissions reductions are a priority for the more than 2,000 enterprises currently working towards science-based emission reduction targets. But the reality is that many SMEs, particularly the smaller ones, require assistance to reduce their own emissions at the rate required to reach global climate objectives.

In short, this is how Coolset already helps multiple SMEs to fight climate change:

  1. Measuring carbon emissions: It is the first step in any business's journey toward sustainability. Coolset provides an autonomous carbon accounting solution that measures and analyzes your footprint using machine learning;
  2. Analyzing emission sources: In order to develop a reduction strategy, businesses must first understand where their emissions originate in order to address them effectively and avoid wasting resources on less carbon-intensive activities;
  3. Reducing: Once companies understand their carbon footprint, they can choose sustainable alternatives to reduce emissions, such as carbon-neutral delivery for e-commerce or implementing zero-emissions cloud solutions for software companies;
  4. Offsetting: Despite their best efforts, businesses will still be unable to completely eliminate some emissions. Because it mostly depends on outside parties, or because it would force them out of business. To solve this problem, our trusted partners help you offset these emissions by investing in carbon removal projects around the world.


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