SMEs are Making Waves in Sustainability

SMEs play an important role in tackling climate change. Our latest research explores how UK SMEs are introducing sustainability initiatives into their organisation and the challenges they face along the way.

The survey showed 67% have already seen improvements to their reputation with customers due to the introduction of sustainability practices, and 45% have even seen greater sales revenues as a result. 

The report explores several themes from the 500 senior leader respondents, and draws on the data to offer 5 top tips to help your business get started on your journey to Net Zero Carbon.

Themes outlined:

  • The Picture of Sustainability – 99% claim to care about sustainability, but how many organisations have started to implement credible sustainability practices?

  • Offsetting Conflictions – 30% said they know a lot about offsetting schemes, however there was a confusion around the difference between Carbon Neutral and Net Zero Carbon

  • Face Value – 44% believe improving brand reputation was the top reason to introduce sustainability initiatives driven by the influence of customers, employees and shareholders

  • Small Fish, Big Pond – 66% agreed that smaller businesses are leading the way in sustainability despite having less resources than larger counterparts

  • Scale of Risks – 62% said there is a risk of losing business in the future if they don’t start now, but how much greenwashing anxiety is holding them back?



About the Research

‘Empowering SME Sustainability’ was conducted via an online survey with 500 Senior Managers or C-Suite leaders with responsibility for sustainability issues within their business from organisations across the UK with 10-500 employees. This included a mix of 5 key sectors: Retail, Banking and Finance, Construction, Manufacturing, and Food and Beverages which was completed in December 2021.