We all hear regularly about what large businesses are doing to address today’s environmental challenges but small businesses are equally concerned about doing their bit for the environment. In fact, “small business and the environment” was the theme of this year’s Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) conference. Over 800 attendees came together in London last week to discuss the environmental challenges and the barriers small businesses faced.
Small firms are more environmentally aware and socially responsible than ever before. A survey we ran among 1,700 small businesses last year revealed that the majority of small businesses (92%) are socially and environmentally responsible, with 83% already engaged in waste minimization and recycling. Some may think that legislation is the explanation for small businesses’ becoming more environmentally responsible but we found out that the number one motivation (85%) is personal views and beliefs, followed by 75% citing good business practice.
However, small firms need our and the government’s help to increase their environmental involvement. We welcome more initiatives such as the Carbon Trust offer of interest-free loans to small and medium-sized businesses investing in energy-saving measures.
With the risk of an imminent credit crunch it will be easy for environmental responsibilities to drop down the list of business priorities. However, the FSB will continue to work hard to help small businesses keep the environment on the business agenda, whatever the economic climate.