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going green

More SME businesses "going green" in 2023

PUBLISHED ON: 30/01/2024

New research from Aldermore’s Green SME Index has revealed that 489,000 UK small and medium-sized businesses (“SMEs”) qualify as 'green', meaning they have put formal measurement and commitments in place which will see them transition to sustainability by the government’s Net Zero 2050 deadlines.

This number has more than doubled in the last year with only 220,000 (4%) being green at the start of 2023.

Two million or 42% of SMEs have started on the road to making their business fit for Net Zero deadlines.

However, these numbers have remained relatively stagnant in 2023 indicating that while some businesses are moving ahead in their transition to become net zero, the majority (58%) are not making plans to go green. 

Over a quarter of SMEs have ‘green intentions’ and are currently assessing their sustainability goals (26%).

Meanwhile, only one in 14 SMEs (7%) could be described as ‘greening’, being further along in the journey towards this transition.

On average, SME businesses spend around 16 hours a year considering their approach to sustainability.

This saw businesses investing an estimated total of £83,517. This equates to £47,373 in investigating how to be more sustainable and an additional £36,144 on initiatives to green the business.

Despite the fact that many SME decision-makers (68%) see their businesses play a significant role in the fight against climate change, pressing short-term factors such as reducing costs within the cost-of-living crisis are seen as a greater priority (34%).

SMEs business owners say they feel that strong government legislation needs to be in place to support businesses as they attempt to tackle climate change (73%). Nearly seven out of ten SME decision-makers (67%) think large businesses need to tackle these issues first.

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