With the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place later this year, right here in Glasgow, discussions around collective environmental responsibility are firmly on the agenda. It’s clear the time has long since come for all businesses, even the smallest businesses, to be doing everything they can to reduce their impact on the environment.
SMEs account for approximately 90% of global businesses, and more than half of employment. They play a crucial role in economic growth, innovation, and job creation—and should be equally integral to reducing global emissions and mitigating climate change.
Recent research by The Carbon Trust—an organisation committed to accelerating the move to a sustainable, low-carbon economy—investigated UK SMEs’ changing attitudes to energy efficiency, and what actions they have taken, and plan to take, to reduce energy consumption.
The research involved 564 interviews, conducted with micro (fewer than 10 people), small (10 to 49 people), and medium (50 to 249 people) sized businesses. This covered a wide range of sectors—from professional services, IT and tech, to wholesale, retail and manufacturing.
The survey asked, are SMEs aware of the impact that climate change will have on their business, and is energy efficiency a priority? What motivates SMEs to take action? And lastly, what are the barriers and what are the opportunities?
The answers to these questions give us valuable insight into the actions already taken by SMEs and, even more importantly, the crucial improvements that still need to be made. Some of the key findings are:
51% of SMEs want to do more on energy efficiency.
Concern about energy bills has risen from 46% in 2016 to 67% in 2019—and cost reduction is seen by 71% of SMEs as being the main benefit of energy efficiency projects.
IMPACTS OF ACTIVISM
SMEs are much more likely to be asked by customers to reduce their environmental impact than 3 years ago (28% up from 12%)—which, in turn, is more likely to make them perceive environmental responsibility as being key to business survival.
Unsurprisingly, a lack of time and money is cited as the number one barrier for SMEs to act on improving energy efficiency.
The truth is, measures to improve your SME’s energy efficiency don’t have to break the budget—and straightforward changes can, in fact, save significant time and money in the future. Simply upgrading from traditional lighting to LED lighting can be a cost-effective place to start—and 50% of UK SMEs have done exactly that, according to the survey.
But Boxfish can help you do more, and go further, to help reduce your organisation’s environmental impact. With a full range of utility management services available, and a flexible and affordable pricing structure to match, we can create an energy efficiency plan that’s tailored to your business and your budget…And the best part? You can get started for free, with a no-obligation review