The majority of UK businesses agree with the concept of a ‘green recovery’ from COVID-19 and are rethinking their environmental commitments, despite 6 in 10 temporarily decreasing investment.
Energy supplier E.ON surveyed 500 UK business decision makers in June to explore how lockdown had changed views on sustainability.
Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) said the pandemic had made them reconsider their environmental credentials, with more than half (51 per cent) saying a ‘green recovery’ should be a priority as the nation rebuilds. The majority (69 per cent) also believe businesses bear most of the responsibility to drive the transition.
When asked why they wanted to make their business more sustainable, two thirds said it was ‘the right thing to do’. Supply chain expectations and customer demands were also seen as key incentives.
The vast majority (79 per cent) of businesses also believe their employees care more about working for sustainable businesses now than they did a year ago.
Michael Lewis, CEO of E.ON UK, said: “At home and in business, this pandemic has made us all consider what’s most important, and it’s heartening to see across the nation we’re planning on putting sustainability at the heart of our ‘new normal’. As we look to build back better, it’s important we all take steps towards being more sustainable and more environmentally aware.”
However, most UK businesses have had to temporarily scale back their sustainability investments, according to separate research published in July by cloud management solutions provider Ivalua.
Ivalua’s survey of 200 procurement, supply chain and finance professionals found that 95 per cent of firms have plans to address environmental concerns, but 60 per cent have temporarily decreased their investment in these areas.
“COVID-19 has forced many companies to change their priorities to focus on ‘business as usual’ and ensuring their survival, creating further barriers when it comes to implementing sustainability initiatives,” explained Alex Saric, smart procurement expert at Ivalua.
“[However] whilst it is a barrier today, COVID-19 is also pushing leaders to rethink their approach to supply chains. In this respect, COVID-19 could be a tipping point for a sustainability revolution, and businesses that don’t take action to tackle environmental concerns could risk losing market share to greener competitors.”
Posted under General Interest on 22 July 2020