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Sustainability

Embrace cleaner energy to get your business future fit

Nearly two in three businesses surveyed have already invested in renewable energy to minimise exposure to rising bills while reducing their carbon footprint.

In our FutureFit survey of more than 500 UK senior business decision-makers from a wide variety of sectors we found that the need for organisations to demonstrate sustainability credentials is becoming urgent: more than nine out of ten survey respondents say their business is at risk of losing customers if it can’t demonstrate those credentials, with 32% saying the risk is ‘severe’.

91% of business decision-makers say they are at risk of losing customers if they can't demonstrate sustainability credentials.

However, 52% see it as a risk that they’ll face in two to three years, perhaps suggesting it is important but does not require immediate attention just yet.

Inflation a short-term catalyst for sustainable energy transition

Of the companies surveyed, 60% have already invested in green energy solutions, citing cost as their motivation. By contrast, just 4% have made the switch for environmental reasons (see the below chart).

However, this is due to change, the survey suggests. For businesses who have yet to invest in green energy but plan to, environmental reasons are the bigger driver. The next wave of adoption will be driven by environmental concern, this shows.

 

Have you invested or are you considering investing in green energy solutions?

Getting buy-in for long-term cleaner energy investments

Among survey respondents who have not yet switched to green energy, the most common barrier is getting business buy-in. Other issues include not seeing the benefit, trouble raising the finance and difficulties in planning permission.

Business leaders will need to champion the longer-term cost benefits to placate fears over the significant sums required to invest up-front in cleaner energy solutions, this shows. 

You will also need to make it clear how these investments will contribute to your company’s plans to minimise its impact on the environment.

How can businesses invest in cleaner energy?

A more renewable-focused approach often requires significant changes and has cost implications, as well as a likely impact on processes and strategy, so it pays to consider your options thoroughly. 

  1. Understand your current usage: look at your average existing bills and identify what your emissions are currently.  
  2. Assess your future energy needs: consider factors such as the size of your business and how that might change.   
  3. Consider your options: If you own your premises, or have the right to install equipment, you could consider generating your own renewable energy using solar panels, heat pumps or biomass boilers. Find out more here.  

Sign up to the Carbon Planner today to find out more and see how your business could potentially reduce emissions.

Get future fit

Tomorrow’s truly sustainable businesses will be built on the actions we take today.

Discover more ideas here 

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of the NatWest Group Economics Department, as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

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