Nearly half of UK businesses plan to increase investment to become more environmentally sustainable, research from HSBC UK has found.
HSBC’s Made for the Future report revealed that 44% of companies planned to increase sustainability investment over the next two years. Drivers for becoming more environmentally sustainable cited by businesses included improved operational efficiency (30%), responding to competition (28%) and national or local Government regulations (27%).
One-fifth (19%) of UK companies surveyed feel that increasing sustainability requirements will help drive growth for their business in the near future.
Rob King, HSBC UK head of Sustainable Finance, said: “With the Government committing the UK to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, sustainability is increasingly important for companies of all sizes.
“We have seen business using sustainable finance to invest in, for example, green buildings, low carbon transport and energy efficiency improvements. Nearly half of companies are telling us that they plan to increase sustainability investment over the next two years, and we can see that number only rising in the future as businesses respond to the need to become more sustainable and environmentally-focused.”
Of those businesses increasing investment, 69% said they would improve sustainability in product manufacturing/ service offering process, 66% intend to invest in sustainability practice and 63% would upgrade premises, plants and equipment.
To fund investment, 70% said they would use existing profits, with 31% stating they would utilise external investment or borrowing.
HSBC UK Commercial Bank recently launched a green finance proposition to help UK companies meet their environmental and sustainability goals.
The new range - available for small to medium enterprises (SME) through to large corporates - includes a green loan, a UK industry first green revolving credit facility (RCF) and a green hire purchase, lease and asset loan.
Rob King added: “Our offering allows our customers to showcase their green credentials to stakeholders by demonstrating that a portion of their funding is ring-fenced for genuine environmental and sustainability activities. Many stakeholders are now considering a company’s green credentials when making decisions about whether to work with, work for or invest in that company.”