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Our new Young Apprentices campaign – why sustainability is key to creating a successful business

Introducer News

Our new Young Apprentices campaign – why sustainability is key to creating a successful business

Updated: 20 June 2023

We recently published a new campaign that shows the importance of sustainability, with small business owners eager to go green, but not able to prioritise due to recent challenges. 

Looking into what the future holds, we created a video featuring young entrepreneurs talking about what they feel is important in building a business – and sustainability was front of mind. 

Growing up in a world aiming to be sustainable, these youngsters may be greener than many adults, with suggestions including having solar panels on the roof of all business premises, upcycling furniture and using eco-friendly packaging. 

This campaign comes after we carried out a poll with 500 small to medium sized business owners, which revealed that 62% feel their sustainability goals have taken a back seat during the cost of living crisis. 

When asked about their priorities for the next year, maximising eco-friendliness only ranked fourth, with bringing in more money topping the list, investing in growth coming second and reaching new customer bases coming third. 

Despite this, 77% of respondents agreed that having an environmentally friendly business is now crucial in attracting employees. Meanwhile 10% admit they are not entirely sure about the most efficient ways to cut energy costs in their business.

For current small business owners, the next 12 months will be the most challenging with nearly 30% flagging the cost of living crisis as their biggest obstacle. Another 30% predict they will struggle to maintain a steady cash flow, while 20% worry about paying for raw materials. 

Despite the difficulties faced, 39% said they have reduced their energy use in general, and 33% have started recycling more paper products. Another 31% make sure to turn off electricity and heating systems every evening.

Alexander Allen, UK Managing Director at Funding Circle, said, “Getting greener is vital for everyone, from huge corporations to smaller businesses. 

However, with a cost of living crisis to contend with, it can be easy to let standards slip in the name of cutting costs.Making small incremental changes to go slightly greener doesn’t have to cost a lot, or take a huge amount of effort. Things like only heating spaces that get used, during times they’re occupied, is a pretty easy fix that needs to become second nature. 

This could be a great place to start and could build the foundations in your company so bigger initiatives can be explored as time and cost allows.”

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