Shropshire Star

'Wake-up call!' Shropshire businesses handed warning over green issues

Businesses which fail to understand their customers’ views on the environment are putting their future at risk, according to a Shropshire carbon literacy expert.

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Sue Burnell

A recent survey by leading polling firm YouGov showed that a massive 72 per cent of shoppers think seriously about sustainability when they make buying choices.

Sue Burnell, of Shropshire-based Business Net Zero, which helps small to medium firms get started on their carbon reduction journey, has warned that businesses which don’t take this societal shift seriously will see a drop in revenue.

“Whether it’s a product in their hands or the general ethos of a business in its approach to protecting the environment, customers are prioritising spending their money with organisations which demonstrably share their beliefs about green practises," she said.

“I think this should be a huge wake-up call to companies in every sector that it’s time to get on the carbon reduction journey as soon as possible if they haven’t already.”

Most large companies, especially blue chip and multinational organisations, are already on a journey to net zero carbon, even if it might take them a long time to get there.

In many cases they are bound to do so by ever-tightening national regulations or pressures from others in their supply chains.

But Ms Burnell added: “It can feel like a really big deal for smaller businesses to begin the process of understanding where they create emissions and other environmental impacts and often they just don’t know where to start.

“Small business owners have a million-and-one things to do every day, often just to keep the wheels turning, never mind to delve into an issue that doesn’t feel like an immediate priority.

“But we’re in a place as a society now where each lost day is taking them deeper into the risk that their customers, suppliers, regulators, even their staff, are going to be questioning what they are doing to protect the environment.

“What we hope to do is help micro, small and medium firms start learning straight away that there are things they can do immediately which produce results.

“This means they start to make a positive impact which they can be proud to share with their customers and partners. Our aim is to give them a clear start on this journey, helping them understand what works and where to look for support and ongoing learning. That start makes this unavoidable process manageable, enjoyable and, ultimately, protective for their business and for the people on this planet!”

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