To mark the launch of a new green business loans scheme, Barclays has released research which suggests that SMEs not considering their eco-credentials could be missing a trick.
A poll of 2,000 consumers and 1,000 UK SMEs shows that environmental considerations are becoming an ever-higher priority for both consumers and employees at work.
Consumers and workers united
The research found that over half of consumers (57 per cent) placed going green highly on their personal agenda, with nearly half (45 per cent) actively seeking to purchase products or services from businesses with good environmental credentials.
Meanwhile, 70 per cent of workers said it was important to them that their current or prospective employer is considered a ‘green business’, with the figure even higher (77 per cent) amongst Generation Z workers.
Over 4 in 10 North West SMEs onboard
Ian Rand, chief executive of Barclays Business Banking, said: “In recent years, consumer trends and habits have clearly swung towards a more eco-based focus, and SMEs need to ensure they are adhering to the same values in order to strengthen and grow.
According to Barclays, 22 per cent of SMEs are actively making changes to reduce their carbon footprint and a further 41 per cent are looking to make changes within the next year - rising to 45 per cent for North West SMEs alone.
In response, Barclays Business Banking has launched a new Green Loans scheme, with lending of up to £5 million available to SMEs to fund initiatives across energy efficiency, renewable energy, green transport, sustainable foods, agriculture and forestry, waste management and greenhouse gas emission reduction.
Posted under General Interest on 1 May 2019