The region’s smaller firms are missing out on a potential share in billions of pounds of growth in the coming years because they are not tuned into the sustainability agenda, according to new research.
Lloyds TSB Commercial, which questioned 126 West Midlands businesses with a turnover of less than £15 million, found that while 91 per cent of small firms had taken some steps towards becoming more environmentally sustainable and a third had seen growth on the back of these initiatives, the other 9 per cent could have contributed £5.7 billion of economic growth had they taken steps to become more environmentally responsible.
John Robson, regional director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in the Midlands and North, said: “It’s no secret that smaller, private sector firms will be one of the main drivers of the economic recovery this year. However, many West Midlands businesses may not have realised the wealth of opportunities open to them by becoming a more sustainable business.
“As well as reducing overheads and operating costs, becoming more sustainable will give many firms in the West Midlands a competitive edge, enable them to pitch for contracts with strict environmental criteria and enhance their reputation. It may also mean they can target new markets and consumers, or develop new products and services.
“It’s fantastic to see most firms have taken some steps but it is a worry that some businesses have shunned the idea altogether. As the economy begins to recover, those SMEs that do not assess their environmental policies and the opportunities in the green marketplace could miss out on their slice of billions of pounds of growth.”