SMEs boosting their energy efficiency

Twenty four per cent of SMEs have improved the energy efficiency of their premises in the last year, while 22 per cent have utilised suppliers that offer greener products and services, according to a new survey

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s Business Barometer surveyed 1,200 companies in November 2019, exploring attitudes towards environmental sustainability. While 64 per cent claimed they wanted to become more sustainable, 63 per cent have taken steps to improve environmental performances in the past 12 months.

Lloyds Bank Global Transaction Banking’s head of asset finance Keith Softly said: “With environmental sustainability high on the agenda for firms of every size – whether that means they’re doing what they can to reduce energy consumption or cut waste – businesses understand there is often a financial benefit to making their operations greener.”

Just under a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents admitted that their organisation is primarily driven by making long-term costs savings, and that any investment into sustainability would have to generate such returns. However, 22 per cent claimed they are primarily motivated by customer and consumer pressure regarding sustainability and climate change, which has heightened in recent months due to the climate strikes and new net-zero legislation introduced by Government.

However, barriers to match these ambitions with action and investment do exist. More than a third (34 per cent) of SMEs say they plan to use cash reserves to become more sustainable. Meanwhile, 13 per cent say they will rely on government grants.

 

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