Research by Barclays Bank shows that eight out of ten mid-sized businesses in the UK are benefitting commercially from improvements in environmental performance.
A survey of 535 senior managers in mid-sized organisations across a range of industries revealed that most have experienced at least one commercial benefit from investing in sustainability.
The most common measures were encouraging environmental awareness among employees and reducing energy or water use.
Although the traditional driver of saving money remains key for many businesses, improved credibility with customers is clearly becoming a big factor.
For example, the most commonly cited reason for investing in sustainability amongst the manufacturers surveyed was to increase sales.
However, some businesses were yet to fully engage with the sustainability agenda, citing the cost of investment, lack of funds and concerns about return on investment.
‘Don’t be left behind’
Tony Walsh, head of mid-corporates at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “It’s a mixed picture, with most mid-sized companies taking some steps to invest in green activity, but with much more still to do.
“If you’re a business leader and the risks and opportunities around the green agenda are not being discussed in your boardroom, you might miss out on the commercial advantages that are available and suffer reputationally, and could be left behind.”