BUSINESSES are aiming to reduce their carbon footprint with the help of NatWest Carbon Planner.

Businesses are on their way to a more sustainable future with the help of the free digital Royal Bank of Scotland Carbon Planner tool

The easy-to-use tool, created to help all businesses, not just Royal Bank of Scotland customers, gives recommendations on how to reduce carbon emissions and tackle rising fuel bills. 

Part of the banking giant’s broader £100bn Climate and Sustainable Funding and Finance commitment, Royal Bank of Scotland has pledged to help SMEs cut their carbon footprints and costs. 

Director and adviser Michael Minter, who launched Mortgage Steps more than 18 years ago, said the Carbon Planner tool was “a walk in the park” compared to the multitude of programs and websites he uses when helping clients. 

“The Carbon Planner really is quite simple to use. It took me a matter of minutes to complete and then get suggestions of how we could run a more environmentally friendly business,” he said. 

“It really stimulates your thoughts around your business, carbon footprint, and what actions you could take. We’re not a gas-guzzling business but the tailored report still came out with suggestions we’re already adopting.” 

Mr Minter, who set up the business with his wife Karen, said they are now printing fewer documents on paper, discussing ways to reduce mileage and making sure their office is as energy efficient as possible.

The National: Karen Minter helped set up Mortgage Steps with her husband Michael (Image: NatWest)Karen Minter helped set up Mortgage Steps with her husband Michael (Image: NatWest) (Image: NatWest)

He added: “Our carbon footprint is low, and our office is well insulated, so we scored quite well. 

“But we have loads of plain paper in the office, it’s such a waste. Businesses print documents out of habit when it’s all stored on computers. We’ve stopped that immediately and are looking at how we can cut down on mileage with more use of Teams (video) meetings. It’s about little steps for us. 

“The Carbon Planner tool is making us continually think about how we can adapt. I would recommend other businesses using it.” 

The Carbon Planner tool was designed with specialist climate insight and feedback from more than 2,000 businesses. 

Taking the user through a series of questions, it measures, evaluates, and creates a list of recommendations that could help the business improve its carbon footprint through greater insight. 

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CEO Christine Bhatt, who owns and manages Systematics, a company providing expert market information for industries such as agriculture and construction, praised Royal Bank of Scotland for “doing the right thing and raising awareness in the public space.” 

She formed her company with husband Manuel in 2007. The small but dedicated team deal with clients around the world, but they have adapted over the years to reduce their carbon footprint with less international and domestic travel. 

“All business owners want to measure what they do to make sure they’re heading in the right direction,” Mrs Bhatt said. “The Carbon Planner tool enabled us to do that and then came back with a couple of recommendations.” 

Advice was mainly around hybrid models of working, something the company has already embraced and encouraging staff to switch to electric vehicles if possible. 

Mrs Bhatt, who drives an electric car, added: “We have staff in our paperless office three days a week – to drive innovation and work together – but our team has the option to work from home the other two days to reduce their carbon footprint and give a better work-life balance.” 

Solange Chamberlain, Chief Operating Officer for Commercial and Institutional at Royal Bank of Scotland, added: “We must help UK businesses through the current challenges without falling behind on taking the sustainability measures that will ultimately lead us towards a cleaner, greener future.” 

Sign up now for FREE to discover what suggestions the Carbon Planner has to help reduce your businesses inefficiencies and costs:

Find out more about Mortgage Steps and Systematics at: