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East Midlands SMEs remain committed to sustainability despite Covid-19

East Midlands SMEs remain committed to sustainability despite Covid-19

The majority of SMEs in the East Midlands remain focused on improving their environmental sustainability despite Covid-19, according to Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s Business Barometer.

One in six (59%) said becoming more environmentally sustainable is important to their business – just three points fewer than the proportion that said the same in 2019 (62%).

Despite the challenges of the last year and the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, two-thirds (66%) of SMEs continued to work to become more environmentally sustainable in the past 12 months.

More than a quarter said they had used suppliers that source environmentally friendly products and services (26%) in the last year, while a similar proportion made alterations to their premises to improve energy efficiency (23%).

A fifth (20%) have also introduced policies and incentives to help employees reduce their carbon footprint and 18% have invested in energy efficient equipment or machinery. 

When it comes to East Midlands SMEs’ sustainability drivers, pressure from customers (30%), firms’ corporate social responsibility policies (18%) and the achievement of long-term costs savings (16%) are the top three factors.

Meanwhile, cash reserves (38%) and government grants (17%) are the most popular forms of finance for SMEs looking to improve their environmental performance.

Amanda Dorel, regional director for the East Midlands at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said:

“It has been a challenging year for local firms so it’s encouraging to see many still have their sights set on improving their environmental performance despite having to deal with the immediate impact of Covid-19. Looking ahead, environmental sustainability will sit at the heart of successful recovery strategies and, ultimately, investment in this area is going to help the region’s businesses build back better. 

“We’re working with firms across the East Midlands to help them improve their sustainability credentials as part of our commitment to helping Britain prosper. We will continue to stand by their side with discounted funding for green initiatives and relationship teams specially trained to help put firms’ sustainability plans into action.”


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