Two in three small businesses lack sustainability strategy

by Stratton Craig

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Sustainability strategies are quickly becoming a core concept for business development but according to a new survey sponsored by UPS, 64% of small businesses in the UK still have no written set of sustainability policies, Fresh Business Thinking reported this week.

The poll, which interviewed managers and owners of 400 British small businesses, also found that as many as 59% of the respondents admitted that sustainability was not a priority for them, as they were currently focusing on surviving or expanding. Moreover, more than two-thirds of those interviewed stated that their spending on sustainable practices has declined since the start of the global financial crisis.

The survey also discovered that the vast majority of small businesses (92%) said they had to meet a growing number of sustainability targets when doing business with large customers and almost three in four managers estimated that customers were becoming increasingly interested in their suppliers´ sustainability credentials. Despite this, many small businesses struggle to meet this demand. Almost all of those polled (98%) thought that the government should take steps to help small businesses improve their sustainability performance.

Cindy Miller, Managing Director at UPS UK, Ireland & Nordics, said that businesses that embrace sustainability and implement such strategies will have a competitive advantage in the long run, as customers are looking for sustainable suppliers. Businesses need to realise that sustainability, innovation and business growth are tightly linked, she added.

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