Barclays has today revealed that the Welsh public has greener demands than anywhere else in the UK, driving the environmental agenda higher up the list of priorities for Wales’ businesses.
With two thirds (66 per cent) of the Welsh public saying that going green is important to them, well above the 57 per cent UK average, consumers in Wales top the UK when it comes to eco-friendly demands.
It’s not just consumers who are paying attention to a business’ approach to green but the workforce too. Three quarters (76 per cent) of Welsh workers said it is important to them that their current or prospective employer is considered to be a green business.
Ian Rand, Chief Executive of Barclays Business Banking, said:
“In recent years, consumer trends and habits have clearly swung towards a more eco-based focus, and SMEs need to ensure they are adhering to the same values in order to strengthen and grow.”
With consumer demands so prevalent, companies in Wales are taking notice. One in four (27 per cent) say going green is very important to them and one fifth (21 per cent) have already installed renewable energy sources to be more environmentally friendly.
To back UK SMEs with their green ambitions, Barclays Business Banking has launched Green Loans to assist business customers* with eco-friendly changes to their business. Lending of up to £5 million is available to SMEs looking to fund initiatives across energy efficiency, renewable energy, green transport, sustainable food, agriculture and forestry, waste management, and greenhouse gas emission reduction. SMEs can apply by speaking to their Relationship Manager.
Ian Rand concludes,
“The launch of our Green Loans product is one way for companies to engage with their employees and customers, giving them the opportunity of accessible lending to adopt green policies across their business.”
For SMEs looking to cut their carbon footprint, Barclays has outlined the following top tips:
- Buy sustainably: Next time the light bulbs need changing, consider compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED options, and opt for remanufactured printer cartridges, recycled paper and biodegradable cleaning products
- Cut commutes: Introduce a flexible ‘work from home’ policy to reduce emissions and consider holding meetings remotely, with tools like video conferencing
- Invest in renewables: Consider installing renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels, or ask your utilities provider for a green power supply
- Buy supplies locally: This will help minimise shipping costs and your business’ carbon footprint
- Spread the word: Bring colleagues and customers on board with going green and provide incentives for those who actively participate in green initiatives
More information on Green Loans, eligibility and how to apply along with Barclays’ broader range of Green Products can be found here: https://www.barclays.co.uk/business-banking/borrow/green-loan/