Our latest piece of research reveals that sustainability is moving up the agenda for businesses across the UK, with over half (57%) of SMEs stating that they would like more information on what they can do to be more sustainable.
The latest data from Collaborate UK
, our annual survey of UK SME decision makers and owners, finds that while SMEs are taking steps to improve their sustainability, Government support is falling short. Nearly two-thirds of SMEs (62%) believe that the Government is not doing enough to encourage and incentivise businesses to adopt more sustainable policies.
When it comes to what they’d like to see more of, SME business owners and decision makers are split, with around half (49%) looking for more investment in infrastructure such as charging points, and a similar amount (48%) interested in receiving additional advice on how legislation may be changing in terms of sustainability requirements.
Encouragingly, the research also shows that SMEs have welcomed recent regulation in this area. Nearly half (43%) of London SMEs believe that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) introduced in April 2019 has improved the sustainability of their operations, with only 16% stating that it’s had a negative impact. Businesses outside of London are also positive when it comes to regulation, with 69% of UK SMEs stating that the Clean Air Zones due to be rolled out in cities across the UK will have either an unnoticeable or positive impact on their operations.
Rosie Bailey, Business Development Director at CitySprint, commented on the findings: “As a leader in the final-mile delivery space we have long understood our responsibility to reduce the impact of our operations on the planet, so it’s encouraging to see the increasing importance of sustainability to the UK’s SME businesses, with concrete plans being made to incorporate more sustainable operations into their growth.”
She continued: “Despite positive steps, our annual survey continues to find that Government support in this area is lacking. We’d encourage SME owners to look closely at their supply chain to see where they make easy wins with their sustainability offer, and consider forming partnerships with other businesses with areas of shared interest in order to share best practice and work towards a common goal.”
Previously released findings from our Collaborate UK research found that:
SMEs have had little support in navigating the challenges of Brexit - over 1 in 5 (21%) haven’t seen or accessed any Government guidance or support at all since 2016
On average, respondents estimated that the increased uncertainty of the last three years has cost their business over one million pounds in terms of lost revenue/ turnover, despite the fact that the UK has yet to formally leave the EU
In addition, almost half (45%) of UK SME decision makers don’t believe the Government has done enough to help businesses adequately prepare for Brexit
Despite concerns over regulations and trade, many are looking further afield for growth, with just under 7 in 10 (69%) planning to expand their customer base in Europe, an increase of 28% since last year. Our latest report reveals that sustainability is moving up the agenda for businesses across the UK, with over half (57%) of SMEs stating that they would like more information on what they can do to be more sustainable.
Click here to download the full Collaborate UK report