Going green no longer just for ‘big players’

A worldwide study from HSBC has revealed that sustainability is no longer just the remit of major corporates, with a third of ‘smaller firms’ now treating it as a key long-term objective.

The survey of 1,400 companies employing between 200 and 2,000 people shows that going green is no longer just a “luxury” confined to the boardrooms of large companies and household names. 

In fact, HSBC found that 59 per cent of the business leaders surveyed believe that more sustainable business practices would improve their profitability. 

The belief was particularly prevalent in the manufacturing sector, where 72 per cent recognised the benefit of sustainable practices such as greener products or efficient lighting. 

‘No-brainer’

Interestingly, of the 14 countries covered by the survey, companies in India (68 per cent), Saudi Arabia and Canada (both 66 per cent) were the most likely to hold this belief, compared to 60 per cent in the UK. 

Bryan Pascoe, global head of client coverage at HSBC Commercial Banking, said: “The importance of building sustainable practices into their immediate and long-term strategies has become a no-brainer for business leaders. That’s what customers are demanding, and that’s how businesses will find growth to compete in today’s economy. 

“It is positive to see smaller firms are not only aware of sustainability as a potential game-changer, but many are already capitalising on trends and taking action.”

Five steps

HSBC’s research recommends five key steps firms should implement to make the most of sustainability:

• Look for efficiencies in the supply chain, such as solutions that make raw material travel shorter distances

• Adapt to customers’ changing preferences by changing the business model to reflect an increasingly environmentally-conscious customer base

• Invest in renewable energy, such as installing solar panels or procuring a clean energy supply

• Introduce and enforce codes of conduct and policies on environmental and social considerations, such as relationships with local communities

• Report on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance to ensure transparency.

 

Posted under General Interest on 10 January 2018