Breaking down the barriers of finance

Engaging colleagues and securing finance are the two biggest barriers facing businesses when it comes to improving energy performance, finds new research.

According to the 2degrees Sustainable Business Trends Tracker - a comprehensive survey of more than 700 businesses - energy efficiency is an issue that cuts across all sectors and is a focus for many, with nearly 70 per cent of respondents saying it is a key priority for their business.
However, while engagement is the main initial barrier to action on energy efficiency, this switches to finance once there is buy-in from the business. This is despite the benefits that it can bring to the bottom line.
The survey also shows progress on carbon reporting, with 83 per cnet of respondents saying they monitor their carbon outputs, although only 47 per cent said they use specialist software to do this. When it comes to disclosing their carbon footprint, 56 per cent of businesses do so through a third party organisation.
The Sustainable Business Trends Tracker provides a number of indices to assess energy performance initiatives including the Heavy Investor Index, which indicates which industries are most active in implementing the energy performance initiatives assessed. Retail is the highest performer with an average of 4.8 initiatives per respondent. In contrast telecoms/media managed 1.8 initiatives per respondent.
The Emerging Investor Index provides data on which technologies each industry has invested in over the last 12 months, and how they plan to invest over the next 12 months. For example, businesses in the retail sector say they plan 3.1 investments each over the coming 12 months.

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