ONE in five small businesses (SMEs) have re-invested all their profits just to stay afloat this year, according to research.

A poll of 500 SMEs revealed the cost of living crisis (38%), energy price hikes (33%) and increased supplier costs (23%) have eaten into margins.

As a result, plans to make their businesses more sustainable have been put on hold.

Just under half (48%) said going green has been less of a priority, though 44% think they’ll be able to do more in the next year.

The study also found almost half (48%) believe eco-conscious businesses are more successful than those that are not.

Victoria Bacon, Smart Energy GB, which commissioned the research, said: “The economic climate has put Britain’s small businesses under a huge amount of pressure, so it’s understandable that they’re focusing on the essentials of running their business.

Read more in money

I was homeless & lived on £75-a-week benefits – now I’m a millionaire

Small business owners invest an average of £2,757 to start their own company

“But taking steps to reduce your environmental impact often delivers real cost savings too.

“Even small changes that aren’t expensive to implement can make a big difference to a business’ bottom line, as well as being good for the planet.

“Getting a smart meter is one small thing small businesses can do, as it can help them monitor their energy usage and identify where they can make changes, as well as keep a closer eye on cashflow.”

Looking ahead, 43% now feel in a better position to make their business more sustainable.

Most read in Money


Britain’s cheapest fish supper is priced at nearly HALF national average


High street health & beauty chain to close branches leaving shoppers gutted


Administrators axe 1,332 Wilko jobs & 52 shops to shut – is your store closing?


McDonald’s Monopoly returns with HUGE new gameplay feature- here’s how it works

A quarter would finance eco-friendly changes by reducing spending on other areas of their business and the same amount would look for new revenue streams.

Just over four in 10 (43%) want to reduce their carbon footprint so their energy bills go down – but 13% think it will also make their staff happy.

And around the same amount (39%) want to do their bit to ensure the planet is both healthy for future generations, as well as being less wasteful.

While others plan on moving to more environmentally friendly packaging (17%), buying in bulk to reduce transport costs (16%), investing in smart plugs (9%) and getting light sensors (13%).

In the medium term, 14% of those polled were hoping to purchase an electric vehicle and 19% want to replace old equipment with more energy efficient tech.

Being more eco-friendly topped the list of things small businesses owners said they’d do differently if they were starting their businesses again.

With taking control of energy usage and buying local where possible being the advice they’d give their younger selves to make their businesses more sustainable.

Victoria Bacon, Smart Energy GB, added: “Small businesses have an important role to play in helping Great Britain meet its net zero targets.

Read More on The Sun

Jack Whitehall shares first snap of newborn in hospital with Roxy Horner

Mum’s heartbreaking warning after twin girls, 4, suffocate to death inside toy box

“Smart meters are an integral component of our national infrastructure upgrade to meet these targets, which will enable us all to increasingly use cheaper, cleaner energy.”

You can take the quiz on 'how green is your workplace?' by following this link here.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.

Source: Read Full Article