Small Firms Deterred by Cost of Going Green

According to a new report, it seems that the Government needs to do more to help small business "go green".

The Government is not providing SMEs with enough support to enable them to improve their environmental performance, according to independent think tank, the Tenon Forum.

“Many small businesses are keen to exercise their green credentials and to reduce their carbon footprint, but this Government is simply making it too difficult and too expensive for them,” said Tenon national head of tax Andrew Jupp.

According to a Tenon survey of SMEs, implementing environmental measures cost UK small firms £3.1 billion in 2007, with 27 per cent believing the costs outweighed the business benefits.

Almost half of the small-business owners questioned had failed to adopt any environmentally-friendly measures, while 19 per cent do not plan to introduce any.

“Thousands of pounds worth of green taxes are stretching SMEs to their limit, but with the Government advocating green business practice so vehemently, it is crucial it finds ways of making this easier and suggests viable ways to do so,” Jupp added.

Business in the Community (BITC) agreed that many enterprises are put off by the costs of introducing green measures and that there is sufficient payback if they do.

“It is true that businesses can find it costly to introduce environmentally-friendly measures,” said BITC head of climate change Lucy Varcoe.

However, BITC did outline a number of low-cost environmental measures that SMEs can introduce without the need for financial help:

  • Using energy efficient lightbulbs.
  • Turn lights and computers off when you leave a room or office.
  • Choose company cars with good fuel efficiency and low emission ratings.

For more information about energy-saving measures visit the Carbon Trust website.

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