Environmental ‘inertia’

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South west businesses’ efforts to improve their green credentials are at risk of faltering because of a recession-borne focus on cost savings, according to a new study from Lloyds TSB Commercial.

The study shows that although the downturn has spurred some south west businesses to adopt green initiatives in their drive to cut costs, this focus on finances means many firms in the area are losing sight of the broader risks of environmental inertia, and the commercial opportunities to be gained from boosting green credentials.

The key findings of the study are:

  • Only 34% have taken steps to analyse the environmental risks to their companies.
  • Almost half of businesses canvassed (48%) cite cost as the principle barrier to pursuing environmental initiatives.
  • However, over one-third of firms questioned (36%) believe that ‘going green’ would result in a positive reaction from customers.

Ironically, 18% of firms admit that the reason they haven’t adopted environmental practices is because of worries about environmental legislation, but by failing to put environmental practices in place, they are leaving themselves open to falling foul of legislation and exposed to hefty financial penalties.

Other reasons for a lack of action amongst businesses include; a lack of understanding of the risks and opportunities (18%) a perception that customers are not interested (18%) and a belief that their business doesn’t face any increased risks (14%).

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