London SMEs remain focused on improving their environmental sustainability despite Covid-19, according to Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s Business Barometer.
Half (50%) of London SMEs said becoming more environmentally sustainable is important to their business – only 12 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, more than half (51%) of London SMEs have continued to work to become more environmentally sustainable in the past 12 months.
More than a fifth (22%) have introduced policies or incentives to help employees reduce their carbon footprint and invested in energy efficient equipment or machinery (21%).
A similar proportion (17%) has made alterations to premises to improve energy efficiency in the past year, while one in ten have switched energy supplier or installed an onsite renewable energy source (10%).
When it comes to SMEs’ sustainability drivers, London firms’ corporate social responsibility policies (20%), long-term costs savings (20%) and pressure from customers (18%) are the top three factors.
Meanwhile, cash reserves (28%) and government grants (9%) are the most popular forms of finance for SMEs looking to improve their environmental performance.
Mark Amis, Regional Director for London at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s encouraging to see that London businesses still have their sights set on improving environmental performance despite the city-region’s firms being forced to prioritise mitigating the immediate impact of Covid-19.
“Environmental sustainability will sit at the heart of successful coronavirus recovery strategies and, ultimately, investment in this area is going to help London businesses to build back better.
“We’re committed to ensuring that our customers across the capital are fully supported to transition to a low carbon economy, which is why we’re standing by the side of businesses with discounted funding for green initiatives and relationship teams specially trained to help put sustainability plans into action.”