If you run your own small business, it might be easy to think that there is not much you and your business can do to confront the impact of climate change. 
However, the power of change is very much in your hands. 
Smaller businesses around the UK (classified as those that employ less than 250 people) contribute approximately half of the business greenhouse gas emissions in this country. As a result, smaller businesses are set to play a key role in the Government’s legal commitment to reduce the UK’s net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. 
This target is commonly referred to as reaching Net Zero, which is simply the point at which the UK adds no incremental greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Despite the critical role they will play in this endeavour, firms employing less than 250 people are more likely to be at the beginning of their journey to a Net Zero future, with the most common barriers to progress being fears around cost and feasibility. 
Colbea, the not-for-profit business support and enterprise agency based in Colchester, is helping Essex businesses begin this journey and make progress towards becoming a Net Zero operation. 
In support of small businesses across Essex, Colbea has launched a new series of FREE training courses, including a new module focused on how to reduce the carbon footprint of a small business. 
Low Carbon Sustainability Training explains the jargon behind climate science and helps attendees get started on measuring and reducing their company’s environmental impact. Business leaders taking part will also learn how to compare the different carbon footprint calculators designed for SMEs, clearly understand the benefits of Net Zero for their organisation and the planet, and also hear success stories from local case studies. 
As well as helping businesses balance carbon emissions, the drive to reach Net Zero is also about transforming the way companies of all sizes operate. By reducing emissions, businesses can also expect to reduce running costs, qualify for tax benefits and attract new customers and investors. 
Beginning on June 9, sessions are held on a Thursday at either 9.30am to 11am or 2.30pm to 4pm and are held virtually via Zoom. Entirely FREE, these workshops are available for residents of Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Maldon, Tendring, Uttlesford, Epping Forest or Rochford for businesses of any size, at any stage, and in any sector. 
Fully-funded by the North Essex Economic Board (NEEB) – a partnership of district, borough, and city councils within the area – the courses are run by Colbea in partnership with expert trainers leading the courses. 
Further training courses available through Colbea include: 
First Steps to Start-up Success – an online comprehensive training course for those starting up or developing a new business. 
Introduction to Finance – an online course helping you to understand the fundamentals of finance and tax within your business. 
Digital skills – six online sessions covering social media, project management, online sales, and your website. 
Import/export training – six training courses available for those companies who are looking to start importing/exporting, or who are already in the industry and would like to enhance their skills. 
To find out more about any of these courses, visit the Colbea website at https://colbea.co.uk/learn/. 
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