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8 out of 10 Irish businesses consider themselves environmentally friendly

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Source: Kathleen O’Sullivan – Nov 3, 2020

Eight out of 10 Irish businesses consider themselves environmentally friendly, according to new research.

SSE Airtricity has published findings from its new Green Business Sentiment Index.

The research, carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of SSE Airtricity, highlights an “urgent need for education around green energy and energy efficiency measures among Irish business owners”.

Nearly half (49%) of all businesses surveyed don’t know if their energy is renewable; while the vast majority of businesses (84%) consider themselves to be environmentally friendly.

Klair Neenan, managing director of SSE Airtricity, commented: “This is a hugely valuable piece of research in terms of understanding business sentiment in relation to sustainability in Ireland.

“It is heartening to see that despite the current challenges facing the Irish business community in relation to Covid-19, a remarkable 73% of businesses still consider the issue of climate change to be of importance and that for 60% of businesses, sustainability and climate change remain a factor in their decision-making process.”

Key findings from the research:

  • 73% still consider the issue of climate change to be important while in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • 60% say sustainability and climate change have an impact on their decision making;
  • 84% consider themselves to be environmentally friendly;
  • 49% are unaware if their energy is renewable or not;
  • 22% claim to avail of renewable energy;
  • 46% still see cost as the main hurdle in reducing their carbon footprint;
  • 29% are not using renewable energy;
  • 37% believe that being a greener business attracts more customers;
  • 27% don’t know what retrofitting is;
  • 77% of businesses feel government supports would help influence them in considering retro-fitting;
  • 37% of businesses have incorporated retro-fitting into their premises.

Neenan continued: “The index highlights that key decision makers need to be continually informed on the sustainable business solutions that are available in the market.

“For example, this research shows that 77% of businesses feel government supports would help influence them in considering retro-fitting.

“It’s clear that a targeted government scheme for SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] could be successful in driving take up of energy efficiency solutions amongst businesses.

We know, both anecdotally and from consumer research, that customers and investors are increasingly looking to partner with organisations that are more sustainable.

“As members of the business community, we must all play our part to integrate sustainable practices into our business plans and to make green, renewable or sustainable products and services more accessible to others.”

Behaviour & Attitudes carried out this research on behalf of SSE Airtricity among a national representative sample of 362 business owners in Ireland. Fieldwork took place from July 17 to 27 this year, using telephone and online methodologies.

Comment: Your Buyer is now thinking “Green” – if you are not, then the time is now. As Business owners we need to be meeting the needs of our Customers and reviewing our “Green” plans,:

1. Are your products /packaging recyclable?

2. Are you using Sustainable packaging?

3. Is your fleet of vehicles hybrid or electric?

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