First published: 21/02/2024 -

Last updated: 21/03/2024 -

Verified by our Editorial Panel

Industry and business action

Industry and businesses in Wales have a critical role to play in cutting carbon emissions – particularly the biggest emitters, like the steel industry, petroleum refining and manufacturing and construction.

All businesses in Wales have a responsibility to commit to net zero targets too, including the introduction of sustainable business practices as part of their corporate social responsibility. Many of these businesses also hold the cards to help us make greener choices in our daily lives.  

What can we do?

How can we help Welsh businesses reduce their carbon emissions?

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Use buying power

We can use our buying power to support businesses that are leaders in tackling climate change, and by choosing quality, long-lasting, by choosing high quality, long-lasting products or re-conditioned second-hand products to reduce waste

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Keep it local

Shop and consume goods and services closer to home, supporting local town centres and small businesses. Fewer and shorter journeys by car can also help reduce our emissions.

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Shop in season

Support our agricultural sector and food businesses by buying local, sustainably-sourced, in-season and high-quality produce when it’s available.

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Learn new skills

Learn a new green skill or pursue a fulfilling green career path to help shape new solutions for tackling climate change.

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Join or start a workplace green volunteering network and share ideas about how to reduce carbon footprints at work and at home – like making the commute greener. If you are already involved in a union, ask them how to help.  

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Join the network of local businesses that have already taken action, improving practices through the Green Growth Pledge. 

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Make a pledge

Encourage our employers to sign a Healthy Travel Charter, make a Climate Pledge, sign the Green Growth Pledge, or take advantage of technology and encourage the organisation to prioritise virtual meetings where possible, to save travel.   

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Prevent waste and recycle

Business should prepare for the Workplace Recycling Regulations which will coming into effect in April 2023. If you are involved in manufacturing, explore options for using recycled raw materials. And for any business buying common equipment like office furniture, consider re-conditioned instead of new. 

What actions are industry and businesses taking?

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Reducing emissions

Industry and businesses in Wales have, so far, led the way in reducing Wales’ carbon emissions by improving resource efficiencies. But there’s still more they can do. They must sustain existing jobs and create new employment opportunities and ways of working, leaving no-one behind. 

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Wales’ industrial sector is working to address decarbonisation challenges, including long-term action and new technology solutions to stay internationally competitive. Find out more about the support and funding available for innovation at Business Wales SMART FIS and Circular Economy Fund for Business. Net Zero Wales also provides a breakdown of the sectors where the emissions come from, a summary of progress being made to date, and a series of policies and proposals for the continued decarbonisation of industry and businesses in Wales. 

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The Minister for the Economy announced the creation of Net Zero Industry Wales (NZIW) in March 2022. This membership organisation will provide the essential collaboration between industry, academia and government to accelerate the journey towards net zero. 

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Business Wales

Business Wales supports SMEs across Wales on their Net Zero activity with initiatives such as the Green Business Loan Scheme and Green Growth Ambition. Larger manufacturing companies are supported by dedicated Welsh Government regional managers and are also provided with access to Business Wales services as appropriate. 

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Digital resources

Business Wales' Green Ambition digital resources include tools, guidance and case studies to share the experiences of businesses in Wales; with specialist advice to support small and medium-sized enterprises as they decarbonise and become more resource efficient.  


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Food & Drink

The Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Wales programme is supporting the food and drink sector to have one of the most environmentally and socially responsible supply chains in the world. See the Sustainability Handbook for food and drink companies. 


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Transition support

For businesses keen on innovation to enable their transition, Flexible Innovation Support helps with funding and expertise. 


Net Zero Wales: The Welsh Government’s second emissions reduction plan – describes four broad areas of action for industry and businesses in Wales: 

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Resource and energy efficiency improvements

i.e. improving purchasing practices, reducing the use of resources and minimising waste. 

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Fuel switching

i.e. moving away from fossil fuels to greener energy sources. 

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Carbon capture utilisation and storage

i.e. ensuring carbon dioxide generated from industrial sources is separated, treated and transported to a long-term storage location. 

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Industrial and commercial buildings

i.e. considering the amount of heating, cooling and hot water used in both industrial and commercial buildings, and the materials used to construct them.  

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