Potential long term savings and pressure from customers is making Lancashire businesses consider going greener.
A new survey shows two thirds (65 per cent) of small and medium-sized North West businesses want to improve their environmental sustainability.
Nearly half (48 per cent) say becoming more environmentally sustainable is important to them, while almost a fifth (17 per cent) say doing so is very important.
Moreover, 68 per cent say they have already taken steps to make their businesses greener in the past 12 months.
The figures come from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s Business Barometer, which also showed more than a quarter (28 per cent) of North West SMEs have used suppliers that provide environmentally-friendly services or products in the past year, while a similar proportion (27 per cent) have purchased energy efficient equipment or machinery.
Lloyds said while the commitment from businesses to make themselves more sustainable is good for the environment, a fifth (20 per cent) of North West firms admit they are primarily driven by the potential to make long-term cost savings.
As public focus on transitioning to a low carbon economy rises – and given the government target of bringing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 – some 28 per cent said they were motivated by pressure from customers.
More than a third (36 per cent) say they plan to use cash reserves to become more sustainable, with 17 per cent saying they will rely on government grants.
Martyn Kendrick, regional director for the North West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “With environmental sustainability high on the agenda for firms of every size – whether that means they’re doing what they can to reduce energy consumption or cut waste – North West businesses understand there is often a financial benefit to making their operations greener.
““As ever, before making significant investments, businesses should consider all the available funding options to decide which is most appropriate for them.
"When it comes to going green there are options such as government grants and asset finance solutions that help spread the cost of an investment over its lifetime, and initiatives like our Clean Growth Finance Initiative, which offers discounted lending for green purposes."