How UK Businesses are Combatting the Climate Crisis

What is the climate crisis?

Often interchanged with the term ‘climate emergency’, ‘climate crisis’ is an expression that indicates the threat and impact of climate change to our planet and all its species.

Climate change is a result of years of human activity that has had a negative impact on our planet’s ecosystem.

Many believe that climate change simply means warmer weather, but this is a misrepresentation of a serious matter. Experts claim that climate change may render the Earth uninhabitable as the temperature of the planet becomes too high for life to survive. Rising global temperatures lead to more erratic and catastrophic weather patterns and melting ice caps; the latter raises the sea levels and may cause unprecedented flooding.

Without action, the climate crisis will deteriorate further, at a faster rate, and will lead to irreparable damage being done to the planet.


Current state of the climate crisis

The concentration of greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to climate change, are at their highest level in 2 million years and continue rising[1].

The earth is now 1.1°C warmer than in the 1800s (pre-industrial revolution) and warmer than any time in the last 100,000 years[2].

The last decade was the warmest on record, and each of the last four have been progressively warmer than any other since 1850[2].

These statistics are incredibly concerning, with thousands of experts agreeing that our best chance of ensuring a liveable climate is to limit global temperature increases to no more than 1.5°C[2].

Despite the policies and strategies currently in place to combat global warming, it is thought that we will see a 2.8°C rise by 2100[2].


What is the UK government doing for climate change?

The UK was the first country to create a legally binding commitment to combatting climate change with the Climate Change Act 2008 and subsequent formation of a monitoring body, the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

The Act set out a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100% of 1990 levels by 2050, making the UK’s economy net zero[3].

The UK also signed the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the largest international treaty, to join the global effort to address climate change and continues to position itself as a climate action leader.



Transport accounted for over a quarter of our emissions in 2021 and was the largest emitting sector[8].

The government aims to ban sale of new petrol and diesel cars, install 300,000 public electric car charging points, and see electric car make up 80% of car sales by 2030[8].

In March 2022, £200 million was pledged for nearly 1000 new electric and hydrogen buses. Non-zero emission buses will be phased out between 2025 and 2032, and all diesel-only trains will be removed from service by 2040.

The government is also aiming for net zero aviation by 2050[9] and allocating £77 million of funding to help decarbonise shipping [10].



The energy industry heavily relies on the combustion of fossil fuels, that releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

Our World in Data estimate that the energy used in buildings alone is responsible for 17.5% of global GHG emissions[15].

In the UK, 85% of homes are powered by natural gas, despite a Government proposal to ban gas boilers and the remarkable growth of greener energy such as heat pumps or infrared heating panels[15].


Heavy industry and Manufacturing

Industrial and manufacturing processes are hugely energy intensive and account for one-third of global energy use [19].  

The UK government aims to cut the emissions of heavy industry and manufacturing by two-thirds by 2035 and introduce a per annum emissions cap that will reduce over time[12].

This approach should incentivise companies operating in these sectors to invest in the implementation of new technologies to reduce their emissions and make their operations greener.


How can high-emissions industries address climate change?

The decarbonisation of high-emissions industries is crucial to achieve the substantial reduction of carbon emissions needed to meet the net zero target.

Investment in clean energy sources, technologies able to capture and remove CO2, and the electrification of vehicles are among the most impactful solutions to mitigate the amount of carbon produced by these high-emission industries.



Despite the Government’s 2050 target, the UK is lagging behind European neighbours Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, and the Netherlands, that is taking the lead in its efforts to phase out fossil fuels and introduce EV charger density.[14]

In the short- to mid-term, the UK’s transport industry can make strides in decarbonisation by adopting green energy solutions within its manufacturing processes and working towards improving engine efficiency to reduce emissions and accelerate development and launch of electric and hydrogen vehicles. 



The Government plans to switch the UK’s electricity to zero-carbon energy sources by 2035[4].

The UK aims to increase offshore wind capacity by 500% by 2030 and has approved plans for eight new nuclear reactors[6].

The Clean Energy sector is already making strides in innovation through testing and adoption of alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, and bioenergy.

After over 50 years of development, in May 2023, the UK produced its trillionth kilowatt hour (kWh) of clean electricity, which would be enough to power UK homes for around 12 years. Current projections indicate that it will only take 5 years to produce the next trillionth kWh, highlighting an enormous progress in the speed of producing energy renewable sources[16].


Heavy industry and manufacturing

Heavy industry and manufacturing are considered ‘hard-to-abate’ industries, as their decarbonisation is particularly challenging due to high emissions of CO2 produced.

To contain the amount of CO2 produced by these industries, the use of alternative energy sources such as hydrogen, both as a source of heat and as part of the chemical processes, could substantially reduce the carbon produced during manufacturing processes [17].

Furthermore, the implementation of carbon capture, usage, and storage (CCUS) is crucial to mitigate emission of industrial facilities and capture C02 that is already present in the atmosphere[18].

Adoption of clean energy and CO2 capture solutions would allow businesses in the heavy industry and manufacturing to meet energy demands while simultaneously contributing to the elimination of fossil fuel use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


How can R&D tax credits support decarbonisation and improvements in sustainability?

To achieve net-zero targets, substantial R&D investments are required form UK companies to enable the economy to shift from fossil fuels to clean energy.

A few examples of qualifying projects for R&D tax credit relief include:

  • Research into alternative fuels
  • Development of new technologies able to power manufacturing processes
  • Enhancement of the performance of electric vehicle batteries to allow said vehicles to have higher ranges
  • Implementation of technologies able to capture carbon into manufacturing processes

Companies investing in overcoming technological challenges to achieve advancements in their sector could benefit from a substantial reduction of their Corporation Tax liabilities or a cash injection that could boost further investment in innovation and accelerate the shift to a net-zero economy in the UK.


How can lower-emissions businesses do their part?

The UK Government’s Climate Change Business hub was set up to help SMEs get started, providing over 4000 businesses so far with tools to help them understand their emissions, how to reduce them, and incentives to help them stay on track.

One of the UK’s key movements over the past two decades is ‘reduce, reuse, recycling’, following the passing of the Household Waste Recycling Act in 2003.

Since then, a drive towards recycling and working towards a sustainable economy has been increasingly adopted within businesses.


Carbon offsetting at Apogee

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have partnered with Ecologi, a Climate Action platform that helps businesses improve their carbon footprint and grow more sustainably.

For each application we compile, part of our fee goes toward planting 100 trees through The Eden Reforestation Project and supporting carbon offsetting projects across the globe.

Thus far, our work has contributed to plant 17,335 trees and fund over 40 projects, avoiding over 100t CO2.

We’ve also invested in the Insights Calculator, developed by our partner SustainIt, that allows us to calculate the climate impact of our business travels and wastage and ensure we offset the carbon produced. 


Are businesses doing enough?

Our planet is in a state of crisis, and to prevent irreparable damage, experts have warned we must act now.

While the UK government is making progress towards its 2050 net zero target, greater support from businesses is vital.

Organisations like Ecologi allow businesses to access and utilise solutions to help offset emissions, but the UK’s largest sectors must also consider their processes and switch to carbon neutral energy solutions to create real change.

The UK government has so far hit its milestone goals towards the 2050 target; time will tell if this continues.
















[15] Top 7 Most Polluting Industries in 2023 | The Eco Experts

[16] How much of the UK’s energy is renewable? | National Grid Group

[17] The challenge of decarbonizing heavy industry | Brookings

[18] What is carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and what role can it play in tackling climate change? – Grantham Research Institute on climate change and the environment (

[19] Reducing-CO2-emissions-from-heavy-industry—Grantham-BP-7.pdf (