Video: Where Next for SMEs and Net Zero?

27 Jun 2024

SME decarbonisation is at a crossroads. Despite their major contribution to energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, SMEs have been largely neglected by energy and climate policy in the UK and elsewhere. Now, compelled by high energy prices and increasing pressure to act on climate change, many SMEs are seeking to be more proactive.

This webinar draws on a two-year study of the governance of SMEs and Net Zero in the UK to outline the implications of these trends for governance actors. We discuss the role for national and local governments in seeking to coordinate and accelerate action by businesses; the growing influence of sectoral organisations such as trade associations and business networks; and the role of entrepreneurship. Future directions for research and policy include the need to consider justice and inclusion, and coordinate place-based and sectoral efforts.

Watch the webinar here:



This webinar is based on the recent UKERC research report Where next for SMEs and Net Zero? from our SME Governance for Net Zero project. See also the recent briefing paper Seven Principles of Place-Based Net Zero Policy for SMEs from the same team.

Speaker biographies

Sam Hampton:

Sam is a Researcher in the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford and Research Fellow at the University of Bath. His research focuses on the governance of the zero-carbon transition, and he has conducted empirical and theoretical work on SMEs, low-carbon intermediaries, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, energy innovation and programme evaluation. Sam has worked as a low-carbon advisor with Local Enterprise Partnerships, providing support to SMEs to reduce their carbon footprints. Building on his research and consulting experience, he co-created the online course ‘Promoting Sustainability in Business’ to support SME intermediaries seeking to effect pro-environmental change. He has published articles in journals such as Joule, Energy Research & Social Science, and Local Economy, and presented his work to government and business networks.

Pamela Jouven:

As Director of the SME Climate Hub, Pamela works with international partners, multinational companies and governments to accelerate a global movement and develop a one-stop-shop platform mobilizing small and medium-sized enterprises to take climate action on net zero. Pamela previously served as Head of City Business Climate Alliances at C40, where she was responsible for expanding C40’s service offering to member cities relating to the acceleration of climate solutions with local and global businesses. Her experience also includes initiating and leading multi-partner programmes focused on innovation and sustainability for Virgin Unite, the non-profit arm of the Virgin Group, and University of the Arts London.