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Impact of global warming clearly understood by UK SMEs

  • 84% of SMEs believe global warming poses a serious threat to our future; only 16% do not 
  • 58% have considered climate change and other environmental factors in their business plans
  • 79% believe their business can help tackle climate change

Over 80% of the UK’s SMEs believe global warming poses a serious threat to humanity’s collective future and that their business can help tackle climate change, yet many have not factored it into their business plans, according to the latest independent research* from Close Brothers Asset Finance.

Perhaps surprisingly, four in 10 firms pay to off-set the carbon emissions of their business, rising to 62% in the Engineering sector. 

Our view

“A recent report from the British Business Bank states that while smaller businesses often have relatively low emission footprints at an individual level, they estimate that collectively they account for around half (43-53%) of UK business greenhouse gas emissions,” said Neil Davies, CEO of Close Brothers’ Commercial Division.

“What’s particularly encouraging is that not only are SMEs aware of their impact, but they are actively doing something about it, including using energy more efficiently, investing in electric cars, insulating offices and switching to renewable fuel sources.”

Selected question analysis

Respondents from the Engineering and Transport and Haulage sectors are most likely to have considered climate change and other environmental factors in their business plan.

Methodology

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a Kantar survey conducted in late February 2022. The survey canvassed the opinion of over 900 SME owners across the UK and Ireland and across several industries on a range of issues affecting their businesses.