KIRKLEES companies slow to make environmental improvements to their businesses are missing out, a survey has revealed.
Almost a third of small businesses across Yorkshire have grown as a direct result of becoming more environmentally sustainable, said the survey by TSB Commercial.
The survey of 125 small and medium-sized businesses in the region showed that 91% have taken some steps towards becoming more sustainable – with 34% saying it has helped improve employee engagement and 35% saying it has helped retain current contracts and clients. Some 54% small firms said the cost of becoming more sustainable was less than £5,000.
The survey showed that 29% of businesses were worried that they were not doing enough to take advantage of the opportunities available from environment improvements – with 69% stating that they are prioritising other business activities.
Almost one in 10 firms have not taken any steps towards becoming more sustainable, missing out completely on the growth opportunities businesses say it can provide.
Research indicates that those SMEs that haven’t embraced the sustainability agenda could have contributed £5.7bn of economic growth had they taken steps to become more environmentally responsible.
John Robson, regional director for Lloyds TSB Commercial, said: "It’s no secret that smaller, private sector firms will be one of the main drivers of the economic recovery this year.
"However, many Yorkshire and Humber businesses may not have realised the wealth of opportunities open to them by becoming a more sustainable business.
"As well as reducing overheads and operating costs, becoming more sustainable will give many firms in Yorkshire and Humber a competitive edge, enable them to pitch for contracts with strict environmental criteria and enhance their reputation.
"It may also mean they can target new markets and consumers, or develop new products and services."