Environment a priority for SMEs despite downturn
Being environmentally friendly remains a priority for more than three-quarters of businesses despite the economic downturn, according to new research by government-funded environmental support body Envirowise.
In the poll of 300 businesses, 77 per cent said sustainable practices and green measures were still on their business agenda or had become even more of a priority – mainly because they were a way to cut costs.
Taking simple steps such as turning printers and computers off at night, rather than using stand-by, could help reduce office energy costs by 50 per cent, according to Envirowise. Remembering to fully turn off taps could save the average business up to £700 a year on their water bill.
UK businesses could collectively save around £6.4 billion a year, Envirowise said, by using their resources more carefully initiatives – such as reducing waste and water consumption.
“It’s encouraging to see businesses are still focused on the cost-savings benefits that the improvement of environmental impact brings,” said Envirowise programme marketing manager, Elaine Sharp.
“While these figures are positive, there are obviously going to be some cases where resource efficiency has slipped in importance,” she added. “We would urge anyone in that position, and those who haven’t yet considered the savings to be made, to get in touch with Envirowise.”
The Federation of Small Businesses confirmed that more small firms were ‘going green’ in the current economic climate as a way to cut overheads.
“Small business are keen to go green, not just because they realise it can save them money during these difficult times but also because they recognise it as good business practice,” said an FSB spokesman.
However, he added that firms were often prevented from adopting green practices by ‘ill-thought out’ government regulation.
“Whether it is putting in place more energy-efficient work practices or recycling, time and again they are faced with regulations aimed at large businesses that bear little resemblance to the UK’s 4.7 million small businesses,” he said.
For further information take a look at our green business advice articles.