At a time of global climate crisis, when nations are looking to governments for comprehensive plans to secure a green future, new research from Novuna Business Finance reveals that half of the UK small business community are sleepwalking into landfill by not yet recycling plastic bottles and tins cans (50%). Further, four in 10 enterprises (39%) are not recycling paper and, worryingly, only a third use confidential waste to process sensitive documents.
Even worse, 7% of small businesses don't recycling anything at all. When asked what holds them back from sustainable development, 24% of small business owners admitted to not having the budget and 21% said they were pre-occupied with keeping the business afloat.
80% of small business owners said that the Government should be stepping in and doing more to guide small businesses on how to cut carbon emissions in the community. Hospitality in particular uses a lot of carboard, plastic bottles, containers and glass - yet the research data shows that only 46% of these businesses recycle bottles and glass, and 61% paper and cardboard.
Joanna Morris, Head of Insight at Novuna Business Finance comments: "The scale of the task at hand is going to require an immense amount of work from everyone, not just big businesses, and this starts with getting the basic things right first. Shocking as these findings are, the positive news is that small and relatively easy changes from small businesses, could result in really impactful and positive change.
"We have seen from other research we have done that small business owners really do want to contribute towards a sustainable future, but this research indicates that, for too long, smaller businesses have not been part of the climate conversation. There are so many small businesses in the UK, employing so many people, it is high time we started to see them as key change agents on the climate crisis.
“It starts with the small steps on recycling and avoiding landfill, and grows into a bigger picture relating to renewable energy and managing an ethical supply chain. This research indicates what still needs to be done, but at Novuna Business Finance we are committed to helping small businesses develop a plan for carbon neutrality and sustainability that is good for the broader community and makes sense for the bottom line."