In spite of Covid, SMEs stick to the Green Agenda

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Via Kristy Dorsey

More than half of Scotland’s small and medium-sized companies remain committed to enhancing sustainability, facing economic uncertainty from Covid-19, a new survey has found.

According to the Business Barometer created by Bank of Scotland’s commercial arm, 56 percent of Scotland’s SMEs said it was necessary to make their business more environmentally friendly. Before the pandemic struck, that was just 13 percentage points lower than the same time a year ago.

The primary reason for change, cited by 20 percent of respondents, is pressure from clients. Long-term cost savings (19 percent) and compliance with corporate social responsibility policies were followed by (14 percent ).

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“Scottish businesses have seen major disruption this year due to Covid-19, so it’s encouraging to see so many still focused on improving their environmental performance,” said Fraser Sime, Bank of Scotland’s regional director. “Environmental sustainability will play a big role in the success of Covid 19 remediation strategies, both in Scotland and across the U.K.”

The most common sources of funding for SMEs seeking to boost their environmental performance are cash reserves and government grants. 68 percent said that in the past year they have continued to focus on enhancing sustainability.

Almost a third (28 percent) reported investing in energy-efficient machinery or facilities, while 27 percent reported altering their premises in order to boost energy efficiency.

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A fifth of businesses said they use vendors that provide goods and services that are environmentally friendly, while 17 percent have adopted strategies and benefits to help workers minimize their carbon footprint.

The Business Barometer Survey was conducted between 2 and 16 November with 100 SMEs and has been generated on a monthly basis since January 2002.

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