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Small99: Small Business to Net Zero

Small99: Small Business to Net Zero

By Adam Bastock
Practical tips and advice on how to reduce your small businesses carbon footprint.

With 99% of the UK's economy made up of small businesses, you can make a big impact with small changes.

Have a question you want answered? Email me on !

In this podcast we guide you on your journey to net zero and empower you to be part of the solution to the climate crisis.
Where to listen
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What Happens to EV Batteries after they’re dead, and how bad are they for the environment?
There's a lot of concern about electric vehicle batteries and how bad they are for the environment. However, how do they stack up against a petrol car? And what sort of life can you get from one? In this episode I tackle: The Average Lifespan of a EV battery Their Carbon Footprint How much lithium and cobalt they use If they can be recycled What happens to them after they're in a car How they compare to petrol cars Sources: Average UK Mileage EV Battery Life Life Cycle Assessment of a Car Carbon Footprint Vehicle Effeciency EV Battery Recycling How much do  batteries degrade over time Electric Classic Cars Second Life Applications
April 05, 2022
What Net Zero accreditations are there for Small Businesses?
A common question with an unsatisfactory answer! Basically, measure Scope 1 and 2.  Here are the big 4 I discuss: B-Corp: SBTi: SME Climate Hub x CDP: SECR:
March 07, 2022
Should we Electrify Everything? What are the knock on impacts from going "Green?"
February 03, 2022
The Emotional Challenge of Climate Action: SUVs
Walk around any urban neighbourhood and you’ll see SUVs everywhere. This is despite them being bad for us – from increased emissions to increased road accidents. Yet they’re more popular than ever. Why is this? And what can we learn from this in motivating more people to take climate action? In this episode we’ll explore what motivates people and how we can deploy this in selling climate action.
January 19, 2022
How much CO2 does a tree absorb?
Trees are great, we all love trees. But how useful are they actually?  In this episode we explore how effective tree planting really is and answer the following: How much CO2 does a tree absorb? How many trees should I plant? What is Carbon Syncing? Who do I plant with? Trees for Life / Ecologi Wholegrain article: Sources: All About Trees - Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership - UK Tree Planting How much CO2 does a tree absorb? | Viessmann How Much CO2 Does A Tree Absorb? Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis | Greenhouse gas emissions | The Guardian How much carbon does a tree absorb (sequester)? | How much CO2 does a tree absorb? Let's get carbon curious!
January 18, 2022
Is it Worth Recycling?
In this episode we look at recycling in context: How much does it really make a difference?
January 07, 2022
What is a Carbon Budget?
Thinking of your carbon like a budget is a great way to start being critical of your spend and ensure you're not running an unsustainable business.  I'm still struggling with this topic and how best to explain it, so any feedback welcome!
January 05, 2022
Why 2030 Net Zero Targets are Bullshit
2030 is 8 years away. What were you doing 8 years ago? How has your life changed in 8 years? Small businesses can make change happen in hours, days and weeks. Years is a big delay tactic and simply not appropriate for most of our economy.  60% of small companies today will not exist in 2030. Challenge their Net Zero targets and make sure they take action today!
January 04, 2022
Where to start in 2022?
Feeling confused and lost with Net Zero in the New Year? Here's some simple places to get stuck into! Start Small - Do anything! If you've got something on your to do list, get stuck in Set a Net Zero Target - A target of 2025 is practical for most businesses, and will give you focus to start working on what you need to do to get there. Make sure to communicate it! Write an Environmental policy - This is a great way to reflect on progress so far, communicate to customers, and to collect all of your ideas together Start Measuring - If you're keen to get an idea of your footprint, sign up with an account-based footprinting tool to get a quick list of areas you can tackle. Environmental Policy Examples Sign up and Measure your Footprint (Free Trial)
January 03, 2022
What is Climate Delayism?
We're beyond Climate Denial and into a world of Climate Delay.  There are 4 key areas you need to look out for and not fall into the trap of: Redirection of Responsibility Policy Perfectionism Surrender Technological Optimism In this episode we explore some of the common manifestations this delayism takes, so you can call it out and be aware of it in your decision making. Sources: How discourses of Delay slow climate action - Carbon Brief Did 100 companies emit 70% of emissions? UK Aviation in 2018
December 02, 2021
Should you ditch your old petrol car for a new electric one?
Short answer, yes. It surprised me how quickly electric vehicles undo the historical emissions of existing ICE vehicles.  Sources: Is keeping my old car greener than buying a new EV? Factcheck: How electric vehicles help to tackle climate change Carbon Footprint Calculator Germany - 40,000km for breakeven Electric Vehicle Lifecycle Analysis
December 01, 2021
What is the Redirection of Responsibility?: Avocados and Beef Burgers
Bit of a rant this one, but before you point at someone else being bad, make sure you have fully considered the figures of your decisions! Yes, Avocados are a high consumption crop, but just because something else is bad doesn't mean you aren't responsible for your own actions. Once again we see a lack of context and understanding of the figures lead to climate inaction. Litres of Water per Kilo Avocado: 1,280 Beef: 15,451 Carbon Emissions per Kilo Avocado: 2.5kg Beef: 60kg UK Beef: 22kg Sources and Further reading: Is grass-fed beef good or bad for the climate? Interactive: What is the climate impact of eating meat and dairy? Environmental impacts of food production More or Less - COP26 Breakfast Claims against meat fail to consider bigger picture - Sustainable Food Trust How much water does it really take to produce a beef burger?
November 30, 2021
What does COP26 mean for your business?
After a few weeks of reflection it's time to look at what it all actually means for you. 
November 29, 2021
Was COP26 worth it?
Well, that was an intense 2 weeks. Was it all worth it, or a waste of time? Further reading and listening below: COP26 Achieved more than expected, but less than hoped - Financial Times COP26 Glasgow: Ready to go further: Outrage and Optimism  The Good, the bad and the ugly. What did COP26 achieve? New Statesman After the failure of Cop26, there’s only one last hope for our survival - George Monbiot COP26: Key outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks in Glasgow And for my comments around the climate impact of COP26: Scotland emitted 41,600,000 Tonnes of CO2e in 2018.  Of this, 14,800,000 Tonnes were from Transport. 10,000,000 of this, was from road transport. Divided by 365, this figure is around 27,500 Tonnes of CO2e per day. The total CO2e of COP26 has been calculated at 102,500
November 15, 2021
What's the Impact of a Zoom Call?
Should young people dial back on social media and on zoom calls to save the planet?  Zoom, video conferencing, energy, and emissions
November 02, 2021
Can You Make A Difference?
With COP26 in full swing, are you powerless, or powerful?  The '3.5% rule': How a small minority can change the world How Rich am I? World's wealthiest 'at heart of climate problem' A few frequent flyers 'dominate air travel' Small businesses behind a third of the UK’s emissions, but lag in net zero fight
November 01, 2021
Announcing the Small99 Community!
Join the Community and be personally guided to Net Zero
October 31, 2021
Does it matter that people are flying into COP26?
People are often complaining that the environmental cost of COP26 sits against what it's trying to achieve. I wanted to explore this a bit further and put some figures against it to understand what the impacts really are in terms of numbers.  Heathrow Figures Gatwick Figures BBC - Who are taking flights? Flight carbon calculator How Rich am I? Top 5%
October 24, 2021
What is Net Zero?
I should probably define what Net Zero is! Here's what to expect in the next few years.
October 22, 2021
Are Electric Vehicles the Answer?
One of the common hesitancies is around electric vehicles and their environmental impact. In this episode I discuss some of the issues around thinking of EV vs Petrol vehicles and how this may be leading to climate delayism.
October 22, 2021
Is Net Zero an Opportunity?
I discuss some of the reasons why net zero is an opportunity, not a cost. 
October 21, 2021
What is Greenhushing?
Greenhushing article with links to reports How to Write a Sustainability Policy
October 18, 2021
Net Zero vs Zero Carbon vs Carbon Neutral
What is the difference?
October 18, 2021
What is CO2e, and why should you care about it?
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) keep the planet warm by trapping solar energy that would otherwise radiate through the atmosphere back out to space. In 2020 through burning fossil fuels the UK emitted 414.1 million tonnes / CO2e into the atmosphere. As human activity continually increases the level of atmospheric greenhouse gases, we are exacerbating the warming of global average temperatures — resulting in what’s commonly known as global warming. What isn’t common knowledge is how we measure the carbon footprint of GHGs. To do this, climate scientists convert the amounts of individual GHGs to a CO2e equivalent. In this article, we will explain what CO2e is and how it’s used to understand the atmospheric warming that GHGs create.
October 18, 2021
Carbon Offsetting: What is it, and should you do it?
Carbon offset schemes have become hugely popular in the past few years, with more and more technological solutions appearing. This has naturally led to a bit of confusion, and it’s hard to know which is the one to go for. This article will outline a few arguments and issues around carbon offsetting, bust some myths and give you some recommended schemes to join.
October 18, 2021