Canadian companies are finding it difficult to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, new research from KPMG in Canada reveals.
KPMG’s 2023 Private Enterprise Business Survey found that seven out of 10 small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) said they lack the time and resources to make it a priority. And while 78 per per cent of SMBs have established policies or initiatives to reduce their emissions footprint, less than a third feel very confident in their plans to reduce emissions across their value chain.
“Climate change demands that companies, regardless of size, take immediate action to start reducing their carbon footprint,” says Andrew McHardy, national decarbonization hub leader at KPMG in Canada. “While companies are setting targets aligned to Canada’s 2050 net-zero goals, our research shows many SMBs are struggling to action their plans as they grapple with increasingly complex decarbonization challenges.”
Some of the biggest obstacles stopping SMBs from achieving their net-zero goals include a shortage of skills and expertise to implement solutions, the challenges of decarbonizing their supply chains, and a lack of appropriate technology. In addition, KPMG also found that a critical shortage of quality data is another factor, with more than two-thirds expressing concern about their ability to effectively measure, implement and evaluate their carbon footprint.
The survey also found that 70 per cent lack the time and resources to make reducing their carbon footprint a top or immediate priority.
However, there are still efforts being made to help businesses reach their net-zero goals. For example, just under 80 per cent of SMBs in Canada have established policies or initiatives to reduce GHG emissions. In addition, nearly eight in 10 SMBs are willing to increase their investments in line with their climate-related goals.
Changes are being made when it comes to operations, with 29 per cent starting to replace their fleets, such as trucks, busses, and vans, with low GHG emission vehicles.
SMBs aren’t the only ones facing challenges with decarbonizing.
According to KPMG International’s 2023 CEO Outlook survey, which surveyed bigger corporations, Canadian CEOs believe decarbonizing their supply chain and gaps in technology to be the greatest barriers to achieving net zero.
The research found that Canadian CEOs are, nonetheless, focused on on addressing environmental challenges, with 51 per cent saying they are prioritizing decarbonization and achieving net zero within their environment, social, and governance initiatives.