As environmental considerations become an ever-higher priority for consumers, small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) will need to consider and improve their eco-credentials.
Research from UK bank Barclays found that over half of Brits (57%) placed going green highly on their personal agenda, with nearly half (45%) actively seeking to purchase products or services from businesses that are environmentally friendly.
It’s not only consumers who are paying attention to a business’s approach to green but the workforce too. Seven in 10 workers (70%) revealed it is important to them that their current or prospective employer is considered a green business, with the figure reaching nearly eight in 10 (77%) amongst Gen-Z.
Research reveals that SMEs are starting to listen to consumer demands, with 22 per cent actively making changes to reduce their carbon footprint and a further 41 per cent looking to make changes within the next year. Over the next 12 months, SMEs in the North East (47%), East Midlands (46%) and the North West (45%), look to be leading the way when wanting to introduce green polices.
For SMEs looking to cut their carbon footprint, Barclays has outlined the following top tips:
- Buy sustainably: Next time the light bulbs need changing, consider compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED options, and opt for remanufactured printer cartridges, recycled paper and biodegradable cleaning products
- Cut commutes: Introduce a flexible ‘work from home’ policy to reduce emissions and consider holding meetings remotely, with tools like video conferencing
- Invest in renewables: Consider installing renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels, or ask your utilities provider for a green power supply
- Buy supplies locally: This will help minimise shipping costs and your business’ carbon footprint
- Spread the word: Bring colleagues and customers on board with going green and provide incentives for those who actively participate in green initiatives