A comprehensive report into sustainability in business from a Bristol based facilities management firm has revealed that ‘being green’ is now a priority concern for businesses, but many are still not seeing the commercial benefit of implementing sustainable measures.
Almeda commissioned independent market research company Insight Data to carry out the Sustainability in Business 2015 report, for which 40,160 South West business owners were polled in firms employing more than 6 people.
Almeda employ over 50 staff in the city and count SS Great Britain, @Bristol, Arnolfini and Bristol & Bath Science Park as customers.
Management were keen to find out what firms think about sustainable issues, following the roll out of its own Bristol Green Alliance project with Destination Bristol.
The report found that of the businesses polled, 92 per cent said they believe it is important for companies to be eco-friendly, against 4 per cent who said they didn’t and 4 per cent who said they have no opinion.
When asked whether they implement what they consider to be green initiatives in their businesses, an encouraging 75 per cent said they did, against 25 per cent who said they didn’t.
For the business owners that said they didn’t implement green initiatives, only 34 per cent said they plan to do so in the future, with 34 per cent saying they didn’t plan to do so and 32 per cent saying they were uncertain.
Interestingly, for those that said they are carrying out green projects in their business only 28 per cent said the schemes had achieved a positive commercial impact, compared to 55 per cent who said going green had not boosted their company’s bottom line.
On the subject of policy and spending on green projects, 46 per cent of business owners polled said they would like to see more public money spent to raise awareness of how being eco-friendly can benefit businesses, against 21 per cent said they would not and 33 per cent who said they were undecided.
With 2015 being the year that Bristol became European Green Capital, the survey also asked whether businesses had been directly involved with the prestigious honour; and attended any events or schemes run by the organisers.
Under half (33 per cent) said they had, with 67 per cent saying they hadn’t been involved at all.
The survey concluded by asking respondents their views on a major renewable infrastructure project that could affect the region.
The construction of a barrage across the River Severn between Weston-super-Mare and Cardiff has long been touted as a renewable golden bullet for the region but when asked whether they would like to see it finally go ahead, 67 per cent said yes, against 8 per cent who said no and 25 per cent who said they hadn’t made up their minds.
Almeda – sustainable facilities management
Brady George is Operations Director at Almeda; and heads up many of the sustainable projects the company roll out.
He comments: “We manage the built environment and have a responsibility to our own business and our customers to be as smart and eco-friendly as we can be. But it’s a long-term battle, so we were interested to see what other businesses think about sustainability and what difference they feel they are making.
“On reflection, the results are positive but show us there is still so much more to be done. Personally I still feel there is not enough positive action at a grassroots level, which is why we have rolled out the Bristol Green Alliance project with Destination Bristol.”
Andrew Garrad, Chairman of Bristol 2015 which is organising the city’s year as European Green Capital, added: “It’s encouraging – but not surprising – to hear that ‘going green’ is a priority concern for businesses in the South West. Bristol in particular is home to some of the greenest companies in the country but, as European Green Capital, we are encouraging many more local businesses to seize the opportunity to become greener, save money and find new customers.
“Our ‘Go Green’ initiative does just that by bringing together all the great assets we have and signposting the organisations, projects and funding bodies that are most useful in helping individual businesses benefit from being greener.”
Read more about the story on the South West Business website:
Or read the story in the Bristol Evening Post here: