The main area of concern highlighted however is the lack of awareness about where to turn for energy efficiency advice. 32 per cent of businesses were not aware of any organisations to help so clearly more work needs to be done here.
Amongst the key findings of the survey were:
- 52.7 per cent of businesses considered themselves energy efficient whilst 31.1 per cent were considering becoming so.
- 81.8 per cent of businesses said that lower energy bills were the prime motivation to becoming more energy efficient. Reflecting the belief that the business community has a role to play in tackling climate change, 66.6 per cent listed environmental concerns whilst 48 per cent said social responsibility.
- The biggest benefit to becoming more environmentally efficient is lower energy bills, with 76.6 per cent listing this.
- Of those businesses that have not installed or promoted energy efficiency, 29.8 per cent said it was not a priority whilst 19 per cent said it was too costly.
Following the survey, the British Chamber of Commerce has the following recommendations for the government:
- Raise awareness amongst small business. More must be done to engage the small business community to encourage and support them.
- Work in partnership with business. Business accepts it has a role to play in stabilising and reducing greenhouse gasses but more must be done to forge links with the Government, the devolved administrations and the public sector to achieve the reductions set out in the Kyoto Protocol.
- Refocus initiatives towards Small and Minority Enterprises. Organisations such as the Carbon Trust should be refocused to as the Government’s goal to achieve a 60 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
- Climate change as an opportunity. Tackling climate change is a necessity but it can also be an opportunity.
David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“This survey shows that business in the UK is striving to meet the challenge of becoming more environmentally friendly.
“Whilst the chance to have lower energy bills is clearly a prime driving force, environmental concerns and social responsibility are also major contributors to the drive to become more energy efficient.
“The challenge for the government now is to work more with small and medium sized businesses to assist them in becoming more environmentally friendly.”
Tim Hutchings, Chief Executive of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry said, “This is an issue we take very seriously and indeed have set up a group to ensure that business gets the support it needs. We are also anxious to see that government, local and national, plays their part. We are particularly keen to see a more imaginative use of the tax and planning regimes to support research and development in this area.
For further information contact Tim Hutchings Chief Executive, The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Zenith Court, 4 Bishops Square Business Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9NE
T: 01707 398400 m: 07956 172208