19 Jan 2022

Survey finds most SMEs concerned by climate change, but 40% without sustainable processes

2:35 pm on 19 January 2022

More than 40 percent of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have any systems or processes in place to minimise their carbon footprint.

Tree growing on coins stack ,concept of investment growth.

Photo: 123RF

That is despite 82 percent admitting they are concerned by climate change, according to a new survey by accounting software firm MYOB.

MYOB head of go-to-market Jo Tozer said the results should be considered in the context of the past two years, when small businesses battled to stay afloat.

"From staying up-to-date with industry trends, Covid-19 compliance and managing the business, SMEs have had a lot on their plate, and finding the most suitable sustainability actions and initiatives for their business can require a decent time investment.

"However what's evident from other insights in our survey is the desire is there. So the 43 percent that don't currently have processes really need support and education to help them become more sustainable."

The survey also found 44 percent of SMEs would like funding or tax incentives from the government for climate initiatives.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand business reform leader Karen McWilliams, said while SMEs were stretched for time and resources when it came to implementing sustainability practices, they could not afford to miss out.

"Larger organisations with sustainability requirements are likely to give preference to sustainable SMEs in their supply chain, and consumers are increasingly demanding sustainable products," McWilliams said.

"A recent Colmar Brunton poll revealed almost half of New Zealanders say they have switched to brands that are more sustainable."

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