Small businesses need to accelerate sustainability goals – but many aren’t doing enough

Shockingly, nearly a third of SMEs say they do not intend to put a sustainability strategy in place at all

Festival Net Zero 2021

Small businesses need to accelerate their sustainability goals – but many aren’t doing enough to go green.

That’s the suggestion from World Kinect Energy Services, which commissioned YouGov to survey 1,021 UK SME decision-makers about their progress towards net zero.

It found 40% do not have an immediate plan in place to become more sustainable – shockingly, nearly a third said they do not intend to put a sustainability strategy in place at all.

The study suggests only 34% have actually achieved any goals.

News is not much better on the micro-business or medium-sized business front – 42% and 55% respectively have not set goals or a strategy.

The construction industry was the sector least likely to have a strategy or a plan to implement one, with 38% saying they have no plans in place to step up sustainability – the medical and health sector is best prepared, with 68% of businesses having a sustainability strategy and 53% of those already delivering at least some of their goals.

World Kinect Energy Services Senior Director of Global Sustainability, Therese Gjerde, said: “Despite some sectors leading the way to reduce their carbon footprint, we are still coming across so many businesses who simply aren’t ready for net zero, which is reflected in this independent research.

“The 2050 deadline for net zero is a lot closer than people think and it can take time to develop a realistic, achievable strategy and even longer to implement it. Organisations must act now and start their sustainability journey by developing a long-term emissions reduction strategy that will benefit their impact on the environment.

“Net zero targets could be brought forward, so ignoring the deadline may lead to penalties or larger payouts further down the line.”

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