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UK SMEs focusing on environmental sustainability despite COVID-19, says Lloyds

By Megha Bhattacharya

December 31, 2020

  • Lloyds Bank
  • UK
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lloydsLloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s Business Barometer has revealed that the majority of UK SMEs have maintained their focus on improving their environmental sustainability despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 54% of the UK SMEs have emphasised the importance of being environmentally sustainable this year as compared to 64% in 2019.

Paul Gordon, Managing Director, SME & Mid-Corporates, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said, “While many businesses have been forced to prioritise mitigating the immediate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s hugely encouraging to see that the majority of firms still have their sights set on improving their environmental performance.”

The report also stated that many suppliers have started sourcing environmentally friendly products and services, have invested in energy-efficient equipment and have switched energy suppliers in the past year. Cash reserves (29% vs. 35% in 2019) and government grants (13% vs. 12% in 2019) remain the most popular forms of finance for SMEs looking to improve their environmental performance.

“Environmental sustainability will sit at the heart of successful coronavirus recovery strategies and, ultimately, investment in this area is going to help businesses – and the UK as a whole – build back better. We’re committed to ensuring that our customers are fully supported to transition to a low carbon economy. We’re standing by the side of businesses across the country with discounted funding for green initiatives and with our Relationship Teams specially trained to help put sustainability plans into action.”

Recently, Lloyds announced that it will be teaming up with 500 local retailers for offering cashback services in communities with low cash availability. The initiative builds on the success of a 2019 pilot, also delivered in partnership with Visa, and could be extended further if successful.

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