Green intentions hindered by costs
Nearly 80% of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) encourage employees to be more environmentally responsible.
But the cost of goods is still more important than their environmental impact when it comes to procuring products for 76% of SME owners.
The findings are based on Close Brothers Asset Finance (CBAF)’s quarterly survey of 900 firms in the UK and Ireland.
CBAF chief executive Neil Davies said: “These results demonstrate the decisions business owners are faced with every day.
“On the one hand they really want to be
“They want to be ethical but they need to protect their profits”
ethical in the purchasing choices they make but on the other they need to protect their profits.
“What is encouraging is that the will is obviously there. As less environmentally damaging products become available and, importantly, affordable, they will be considered by those making the purchasing decisions.”
Recycling is a priority for 81% of firms, most notably in the engineering sector, where recycling rates rise to 92%.
Mr Davies said: “There are well-known issues with recycling in the UK, including China’s decision to ban foreign waste imports.
“That, with the public’s increased awareness of the impact of plastic, appears to be accelerating positive changes to the UK’s recycling system, which will make the efforts businesses are making worthwhile.”
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of SMEs would consider giving staff a day off a year to volunteer for environmental causes.