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Climate crisis advice from accountants

Accountants at a Midlands practice are urging businesses in the region to re-evaluate processes and procedures to help tackle the burgeoning climate crisis. 

Kevin Johns, director at Prime Accountants Group, said Government legislation on climate change is imminent and businesses in the Midlands need to act now to make changes to stay ahead of the curve.

He said people are key to influencing meaningful change across businesses and by challenging the mindset on sustainability, they can implement small but impactful changes across the board.

Prime, which has offices in Solihull, Coventry and Birmingham, has partnered with long-term customer Carbon Happy to help shake up its internal processes and working patterns to reduce its carbon footprint.

Measures Prime has invested in include all company cars being switched for electric vehicles, and a green incentive where team members are paid an extra £390 a year for not travelling to work by car. This is to encourage walking, cycling, getting the train and car sharing.

Kevin said: “With the presence of more harmful gases than at any time in human history, it’s no surprise that pressure is growing on world governments to implement more environmentally-friendly legislation for businesses. 

“The impending legislation will no doubt hit the bigger companies first, but it won’t be long before it travels down the supply chain to the smaller independent businesses. So enforcing change now will only help in the near future.

“Some practical changes may appear more expensive in the short term, but by investing now, businesses will be guaranteeing they remain at the forefront of their customers’ minds when the legislation hits.”

Kevin said the learnings from Carbon Happy had enabled Prime to lay out more practical ways businesses could  remain competitive, including investing in modern machinery, greener processes and automation.

He added: “Since the pandemic, many people feel working from home has helped the environment, with fewer car journeys and office buildings remaining closed.

“However, we have learned this isn’t always the case, as often you have groups of people working remotely, which means your heating requirements have doubled. So, in greener terms, heating the office may be cheaper than heating 50 individual homes.

“If you can combine office working with greener modes of transportation for employees like purchasing bikes, businesses will be well on the way to reducing their carbon footprint through just two small steps.

“And if you are importing foreign products currently, consider if it would be cheaper to bring production into the UK, something which can significantly reduce travel and the possibility of financial fines in the future.”