Sustainability key for ‘international competitiveness’

British businesses need to be more sustainable if they want to be “internationally competitive”. That’s the view of James Close, a partner at Ernst & Young, who told ELN firms […]

Register now!

By Priyanka Shrestha

British businesses need to be more sustainable if they want to be “internationally competitive”.

That’s the view of James Close, a partner at Ernst & Young, who told ELN firms in the UK should look at energy sources with lower costs to be able to compete at an international level.

He stressed sustainability isn’t just a corporate social responsibility issue but actually gives a positive return on investment. He suggested there is opportunity in both the UK and international market and companies should “find lower cost sources of energy and get down the technology curve very, very quickly by accelerating demand for those technologies”.

Mr Close added: “You really need to think about this if you want to be internationally competitive. You’ve got to have a low cost source of energy and a secure supply of energy because your international competitors are starting to do this sort of thing. And they’re thinking really creatively and laterally about how they secure energy and they’ve got some great projects as well. I think in the UK we can compete with them and lock ourselves into more productive and lower cost bases which will enable us to compete internationally.”

He claims sustainability makes financial sense but firms need to have a “very clear story” for their investors about what benefits it will give to the organisation and shareholders.

With a recent Ofgem report warning the UK could risk facing blackouts in the next three years in addition to rising energy bills,  Mr Close said businesses are now looking at different ways of having a secure supply of energy.