Jump to MenuJump to Main ContentJump to the SidebarJump to About A&T Business AssociatesJump to How A&T Business Associates are DifferentJump to How A&T Business Associates WorkJump to Our LinksJump to our Industry NewsJump to Legal InformationJump to Viewing OptionsJump to SearchJump to Site MapJump to Contact Page

How SMEs can afford to strength their environmental responsibility policies

In today’s marketplace, acting in an environmentally conscious way is a must for any business. Big or small, a firm must have a strong environmental responsibility policy. However, such business planning comes with a price tag. Alternative finance can help small businesses afford the costs.

The onus on businesses to be greener has never been greater. And the good news is that companies are responding by implementing more and more measures designed to reduce activities that are harmful to the environment. These measures range from making greater use of teleconferencing technology to reduce business travel to reducing the amount of plastic waste that they generate.

Plastic waste is a particularly hot topic at the moment. For example, our news channels are full of stories about the scale of plastic pollution in oceans and advice on what we should be doing to combat it, such as stopping our use of plastic straws, plastic stirrers and plastic cotton buds. And action is being demanded not just at consumer level.

Businesses are increasingly coming under the microscope and encouragingly, more and more firms are looking for ways to reduce plastic waste. The findings of a survey conducted for Close Brothers Asset Finance illustrate this trend. According to the study, of the small businesses questioned, over 80% feel that plastic waste is a problem, while almost 65% have sustainability initiatives in place. However, almost 60% believe that anti-plastic waste initiatives are too weak.

One of the major barriers to expanding sustainability practices is cost. With regard to tackling the problem of plastic waste, businesses can expand recycling practices, including that involving old technology; use more environmentally friendly materials in the production and supply process; end their use of plastic that cannot be recycled and repurpose materials in the supply chain. But such steps, and the changes to operations that are required to take them, come at a price.

And given current market conditions and the need to manage a range of policy costs and non-policy costs, and the impact of these factors on profit margins, affording the investment to strengthen environmental responsibility policy is a significant challenge.

This is where alternative finance can help.

In the wake of continued caution from traditional lenders, services such as invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are providing small business owners with an alternative means of raising much-needed capital, whether for maintaining cashflow or investing in development, such as in expanding environmental responsibility business planning.

This is how a small business in Sussex used peer-to-peer lending, through a commercial finance broker that specialises in alternative finance, to raise the capital to buy new equipment.

For small businesses, it undoubtedly pays to be green, not least in terms of positive market profile, but at the same time, it also costs. These firms need financial help to achieve this goal. One way in which they can get this assistance is to make use of all the finance options available to them, including alternative finance.

Want to know more about what A&T Business Associates can do for your business? Contact Jon Rook-Allden on 01903 602211 or jra@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

Return to the News Page