Environmental matters might not be the number one priority for the majority of companies right now, especially when signs of a global economic recovery are scarce, yet certain companies are deciding more and more to turn to green energy in an effort to invest in their future. A survey by GreenBiz which asked all of its 3,150 members about their hopes for the coming months revealed that many of them are hiring and expect companies’ environmental budgets to grow.
The survey shows that the environment is still in the thoughts of many companies, despite the general sense of gloom that has engulfed many sectors for the past few years. There are a number of environmental issues which companies worry about, one of them being their energy supply.
It’s well-known that the UK’s current energy infrastructure is fast becoming antiquated, and with energy costs rising, alternatives to coal and gas are being sought.
Business environmental fears
Companies with turnover in excess of $1bn no longer tie in their environmental fears with economic ones. The survey showed that the economy is no longer in control of green growth. The economy’s state was seen as important in determining many firms’ environmental strategies, but that has changed. Only 20% say that it drives their environmental policy, compared to twice that amount from a year ago. Meanwhile, customer requirements were named by more than a third as their biggest environmental issue.
Looking eco-friendly is something many large companies are wary of, and putting their customers’ concerns before economic factors is a sign that they are listening. However, they may have to turn pledges into action, as it’s likely that many of their customers who are becoming more aware of green issues will only stick with them if they stick to their every word. The wider economy is still suffering, and many smaller companies are being forced to put their own finances first before the environment.
SMEs prioritise economic issues
Smaller companies have smaller budgets, which means they have less room for maneuver when it comes to allocating funds for making themselves more eco-friendly. While larger companies can afford to pay for wind turbines, solar panels and even hydroelectric generators, smaller firms find that they don’t have the money to pay for such things. As they’re more likely to feel the effects of any economic downturn, they have little choice but to focus on trying to return a profit.
However, they could still do something as a gesture that they care about the environment, which may actually see them make savings and boost business. Using less energy and water, printing less and installing any kind of solar panel array may prove to be beneficial in terms of their image as well as their balance sheets. The cost of installing renewable energy sources may seem prohibitive, but if SMEs were to consider it as an investment and look at the prices, there’s a chance they can afford them and work more effectively. Companies such as Dulas can install commercial solar panels and other renewable energy systems.