As we entered 2019, we looked ahead confidently. We saw a buoyant economy, a thriving property market and easy access to commercial finance, the best we have seen since the financial collapse in 2008. Business was good for a lot of UK businesses. Companies were investing in their long-term future. The forward-thinking companies were only too aware that being seen as sustainable can do wonders for your company image and the potential to increase profit with green initiatives. The buzz words being touted by eco-conscious businesses and the media alike were; #futureproofing and #sustainability and the future looked exceptionally bright, green almost!
Fast forward to 2020, and Covid happened.
Suddenly, it was less about future-proofing and sustainability for many businesses. The focus was more about survival, the safety and well-being of staff, and maintaining the supply chain continuity.
Business owners were faced with unparalleled disruption and uncertainty.
New initiatives and the continuation of the existing commitments were put on hold by many businesses. The progression of sustainable business initiatives was replaced with adapting to the new working environment and uncertainty almost all companies faced.
However, despite the disheartening headlines and uncertainty of not knowing what’s happening from one day to the next, many forward-thinking companies continued to look ahead at sustainability initiatives as a way of becoming more efficient and profitable long term. Encouragingly we have seen little change within corporate sustainability departments during 2020/2021 relative to the previous economic downturn in 2008, when such initiatives were often among the first to be downsized or wrote off completely.
Many of our clients have long been aware of the potential savings they can make with green initiatives and the value it adds to their business, brand and reputation within their industry.
What are the main benefits of being more sustainable?
Research published by the insights company Kantar found that more than 75% of UK residents have switched, avoided or boycotted altogether certain brands because of their environmental policies. This is especially true of consumers under 25 9 out of 10 Gen Z’ers believe companies should address issues such as poor working conditions, environmental pollution and the irresponsible use of packaging.
We take a look at 3 of the most popular Green initiatives all forward-thinking companies should consider in 2021
Many people believe that smart technology is the key to more sustainable businesses across sectors. Smart lighting is leading the way in data-driven management, which can self-measure and report on energy usage, allowing companies to set the rate of electricity used and cut down on waste dramatically.
Smart water meters allow companies to monitor water use per building from a cloud-based system, making it simple to develop comprehensive smart water management plans. The software also identifies leaks and waste and can support phasing-out systems and equipment with above-average water consumption levels.
‘Environmental procurement’ is the prioritisation of products and services that cause minimal damage to the planet. It includes products and packaging that is fully recyclable or designed to reduce energy or water consumption, such as LED bulbs or flush reducers.
Consumers nowadays expect companies to act responsibly; environmental procurement is crucial for businesses that want to lead the way and demonstrate their green credentials and reduce their carbon footprint.
Tax breaks for Green initiatives
Another area of interest to UK businesses is the tax breaks being offered by the government. Enhanced capital allowances, interest-free “Green” loans and tax relief on low emission vehicle fleets are just a few ways our clients benefit from stepping towards a greener, more sustainable future.
Are you a forward-thinking company committed to becoming more sustainable and looking to increase profit in the process? In that case, the team of CMF Capital are on hand to help you explore the options available to you.