Small businesses are hoping COP26 will unlock more financial support and policy to help them become more sustainable, according to a new report from the Federation of Small Business (FSB).
The majority of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are concerned about climate change, but just one in three have a plan in place to help tackle it, the report found.
Smaller firms have struggled with the net zero push as they have less capital to make it a financial priority, according to the British Business Bank last month.
The FSB report, which surveyed 1,200 businesses, found that more than half (54 per cent) of small businesses thought grants or low-interest loans would incentivise firms to become more energy-efficient. While 28 per cent of firms said that business rates discount would also help.
“Small businesses are keen to play their part, but often don’t have the resources, deep pockets and dedicated specialists enjoyed by their larger counterparts, so can find identifying and taking the necessary steps a challenge,” FSB national chair Mike Cherry said.
“With world leaders converging on Glasgow for COP, we need much more than a talking shop. This moment must be a catalyst for governments to remove the barriers that are holding small businesses back.”
The FSB has urged the government to issue green spending vouchers and set up a scrappage scheme through which diesel commercial vehicles can be recycled in exchange for cleaner vehicle grants.
Lowering the capital requirements that banks must adhere to when lending to businesses for sustainability purposes would also open the door to many more smaller businesses going green, the FSB added.