SME owners agree that it is crucial for their company to be sustainable. Many are recycling and using energy-efficient devices.
Eight in ten small business owners want to be greener at work – but don’t know where to start.
A study of 500 UK SME owners found that nine in ten (91%) believe it’s important to be sustainable – but struggle due to a lack of guidance (42%), efficient carbon footprint data (37%), and time (37%).
83% believe the government should do more to support and educate businesses in sustainability.
Despite this, two-thirds (67%) currently have a strategy in place for their enterprise – although over half (56%) are reluctant to introduce a policy, because they feel it is too late to reverse climate change.
A confident 84% believe their company is as eco-friendly as they claim.
Businesses are trying to be more sustainable in a number of ways, including recycling waste (36%), using efficient appliances (26%), or using environmentally-friendly cleaning products (26%).
The research, commissioned by the UK’s leading climate action brand, Ecologi, found many are also going paperless (27%) and investing in smart plugs (20%).
But three-quarters feel overwhelmed about how their organisation can tackle climate change, and seven in ten don’t fully understand the terminology used, such as “net-zero”.
Elliot Coad CEO and Cofounder of Ecologi stated: “It’s promising to see how many businesses are already trying to make sustainable changes – but concerning that so many are still confused, and some even believe it’s too late to make a difference.
“We aim to help businesses and individuals understand the steps they can take to become climate positive, and enable them to tackle sustainability in a simple and accessible way through a monthly subscription.
“With collective action, the smallest of changes can have a big impact.”
Ecologi created a quiz to help SMEs determine if they are ready to manage an eco-friendly business. It highlights different scenarios and shows how they would do.
A third of respondents indicated that they plan to make changes in the near future to increase the sustainability and viability of their business.
Almost three-quarters (72%) of owners believe such initiatives are worthwhile, and 85% said it’s important to them that their company is considered sustainable.
Six out of ten (61%) also market and advertise their environmental credentials.
However, three out of ten say their business needs to be more viable than it is. 24% blame the pandemic.
Another one-fifth (22%) feels their plans have been affected by supply chain problems, and nearly two-thirds (63%) are concerned about recent fuel and energy price increases.
SME owners believe that 25% (26%) of their turnover goes to green initiatives. And one third of them think they drive the change within their company.
But they’re not doing it alone – as 22% of businesses have a dedicated chief sustainability officer, with eight in ten admitting younger employees place more value on such measures.
And in comparison to their personal lives, a quarter (24%) of those polled, via OnePoll, admitted they are more sustainable at home than in work – with 40% having installed solar panels, and 28% changing to a renewable energy supplier.