Upgrading your business premises

Portsmouth is an historic maritime city, and an important hub for the marine, aerospace, engineering, manufacturing and defence industries. It also has very healthy tourism, retail, and education sectors.

76% of Portsmouth businesses are micro-businesses; defined as a type of small business with fewer than 10 employees and a turnover of less than £1.8 million.

The road to net zero will look different for each business and different factors will be at play; the size of your business, whether you own or lease your business premises, or run a business from home.

We’ve put some guidance together on the first steps businesses can take to reduce carbon emissions in the building they occupy.

Landlords

Landlords are already obliged to keep to laws and regulations to ensure the properties they let out comply with legal requirements. One of those requirements is to provide Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for their properties.

Green clauses in commercial property leases are becoming more common. A green clause is a commitment by both landlord and tenant to operate the premises sustainably. It usually includes things like making sure the building meets minimum energy efficiency standards and is committed to reducing energy use, emissions, resources and waste.

Whether you are the landlord of a domestic property or a retail unit, green clauses can be adapted to meet most requirements.

The Federation of Small Businesses has information and resources to help landlords support the Net Zero target.

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Leasehold occupiers and tenants

If you run a business from a leased premises it might not be clear whether you, or your landlord is responsible for reducing carbon emissions at the premises.

Although it’s a commercial landlord’s obligation to ensure that the leased out premises complies with regulations, the part of the tenant is equally as important. Check the details of your leasehold agreement to see if it contains a green clause specifying tenant responsibilities or contact your landlord directly to discuss.

Tenants can take immediate action by making sure lights have LED bulbs, checking that local heating and cooling settings are appropriate, ensuring that equipment is turned off when the office or shop is closed. If you have employees then engaging with them, and sharing your expectations about what  decarbonisation looks like in the workplace.

If you are not sure who your landlord is, your letting agent should be able to help.

Running your business from your home

If you’re running your business from home there are still ways that your business can reduce carbon emissions on top of measures you may have already taken as a domestic property.

Many home businesses are run online. Online businesses have low physical presence and the biggest part of their carbon footprint will be indirect emissions; known as scope 3 emissions. Read more about how different types of emissions have been arranged into scopes one, two and three

If your home business falls into this category you can look at using green suppliers as part of your supply chain.

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