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Saturday 1 November 2014 1:35 PM

Business News

11:10 Friday 03 January 2014  Written by James Preston

Sustainability high on priority list for SMEs

MoneyA quarter of small businesses have placed sustainability high on their list of priorities for 2014, according to new research.

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking asked small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) about sustainability practices, and found a third expect to increase their investment in sustainable business practices over the next five years.

Over half of the businesses surveyed said they recognised the cost benefits of implementing sustainable business practices.

But most businesses said they are still focused on traditional 'green' activities, such as energy saving and recycling, rather than broader sustainable business practices focusing on areas such as supply chains and sourcing.

The survey found that most businesses (87 per cent) that have implemented sustainable business practices believe there are clear benefits to doing so, such as reducing costs, increasing profitability or making a positive contribution to the environment.

Jon Pulford, area director for SME Banking in Buckinghamshire, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Businesses clearly see the benefits of sustainability, and they are carrying out their environmental responsibilities through recycling and being energy efficient.

“But for SMEs, sustainability also means interacting with charities, social enterprises and the community in which they operate; working responsibly within their supply chain and engaging with the next generation, through, for example, apprenticeship schemes.

“Some sectors are really leading the way and other industries across the economy can follow their example and help underpin the growth we are now seeing with practices that will give us all a sustainable future."

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