Eight out of ten small business owners would like to make their work more green. But they don’t know how.


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.

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