Contributed by Barclays
4/01/2021 - Barclays
The majority of SMEs in the East of England remain focused on improving their environmental sustainability despite Covid-19, according to Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s Business Barometer.
More than half (53%) said becoming more environmentally sustainable is important to their business – just one point fewer than the proportion that said the same in 2019 (54%).
Despite the challenges of the last year and the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, more than half (54%) of SMEs have continued to work to become more environmentally sustainable in the past 12 months.
A fifth said they had used suppliers that source environmentally friendly products and services (21%) or invested in energy efficient equipment or machinery (20%) in the last year.
One in ten said they had made alterations to their premises to improve energy efficiency (12%), while a similar proportion had switched energy supplier or installed an on-site renewable energy source (11%).
When it comes to SMEs’ sustainability drivers, long-term costs savings (19%), pressure from customers (15%) and firms’ corporate social responsibility policies (12%) are the top three factors.
Meanwhile, cash reserves (24%) and government grants (15%) remain the most popular forms of finance for SMEs looking to improve their environmental performance.
Dave Atkinson, Regional Director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Most businesses had to re-evaluate their immediate priorities to deal with Covid-19, which is why it’s hugely encouraging to see so many firms with their sights still firmly set on improving environmental performance.
“Environmental sustainability will be a critical component of business’ coronavirus recovery strategies and investment in this area will support our region as its builds back better.
“We’re committed to ensuring that our customers have the help they need to transition to a greener future. We’re standing by the side of firms in the East with specially trained relationship teams and initiatives like our Clean Growth Finance Initiative, which offers discounted lending for environmental purpose
For further information please visit the Lloyds Bank website, or to find out more about discounted funding for green initiatives please visit: https://www.lloydsbank.com/business/commercial-banking/clean-growth-financing-initiative.html
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