Lloyds Bank

One in four British small businesses say sustainability is a top priority for 2014

27 December 2013

  • A quarter of British small businesses cite sustainable business practices as one of their top priorities for the coming year
  • A third expect to increase their investment in sustainable business practices over the next five years
  • Over half recognise the cost benefits of implementing sustainable business practices and some have seen improved profitability as a result
  • However, most still think of ‘green’ initiatives rather than broader sustainable business practices

A quarter (25 per cent) of Britain’s Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) say sustainability is one of their top three priorities for 2014, reflecting a renewed confidence and a desire to focus on developing their businesses’ in the New Year, according to new research from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

However the findings show that many businesses are still focused on traditional ‘green’ activities, including energy saving and recycling rather than the broader range of sustainable business practices relating, for example, to supply chains and sourcing. It also highlights the fact that there are still businesses who do not believe there are any benefits to be gained from implementing such practices.

Stephen Pegge, External Relations Director, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Businesses clearly see the benefits of sustainability, and they are carrying out their environmental responsibilities through recycling and being energy efficient.

“But for SMEs, sustainability also means interacting with charities, social enterprises and the community in which they operate; working responsibly within their supply chain and engaging with the next generation, through, for example, apprenticeship schemes.

“Some sectors are really leading the way and other industries across the UK economy can follow their example and help underpin the growth we are now seeing with practices that will give us all a sustainable future.”

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