Going Green Still A Mystery For UK Business

* Connection yet to be made between environmental policy and commercial performance as businesses fail to take action

Despite increased media coverage and promotion of climate change issues, UK businesses are still unclear about the commercial impact it could have according to latest insights revealed today.

Additionally, businesses are failing to do all that they can to reduce their impact on the environment according to the new research into business attitudes towards sustainability conducted by PR and Word of Mouth consultancy Kaizo.

Key findings of the study called ‘Greener Business – Opportunity or Risk’ include:

* 49% of respondents believe their business is not doing enough to combat climate change
* 86% of respondents do not know the carbon footprint of their business
* 20% of businesses are still not making any changes at all to become a greener operation
* 67% of respondents still find media coverage of climate change issues confusing

Worryingly the research also highlights that the UK business community still sees climate change as a traditional PR issue, rather than a primary management consideration:

* 64% don’t rate climate change as an important influence on business management strategy
* 41% of respondents felt the biggest commercial opportunity was a boost to brand reputation

Christopher Broadbent, a senior consultant at Kaizo on sustainability issues commented:“The results of the Kaizo survey are alarming in that they expose a resistance to change seemingly fuelled by confusion, narrow scope and an assumption that ‘green clothing’ can be a substitute for action.

“Many businesses in the UK are not waking up to the broader commercial importance of sustainability, and the remarkable commercial benefits adapting business models to it can bring, let alone the moral imperative. Regarding ‘going green’ as a purely PR exercise is not only futile it is damaging.”

Further findings include:

* Only 6% of respondents see meeting customer demand as a primary opportunity offered by adopting a low carbon business model
* 13% of respondents felt that there are absolutely no risks for businesses that refuse to go green

Broadbent continued: “The idea that organisations failing to adopt a low carbon business model face no commercial risks at all is very naive. With the government’s (albeit weak) climate change bill in the pipeline, the tougher London Action Plan on Climate Change already in place, European production regulations tightening and energy costs rising, every business that does not address climate change will see an impact on its profits and it value.”

To coincide with these insights, Kaizo has launched a comprehensive Sustainable Communications offering, led by Broadbent. A specialist team of sustainability experts at Kaizo now counsel organisations on the changes that can be made to become a low carbon business before coordinating and executing communications programmes that unlock the commercial potential of those changes.

Rhodri Harries, Managing Director of Kaizo, commented: “Climate change has brought with it the requirement for a broader skill-set that sits outside of conventional PR. We have created a team that has the capacity to meet these new challenges and take ownership of what can be a confusing issue for many businesses.”

The full results of Kaizo’s survey, ‘Greener Business – Opportunity or Risk’ can be found here.

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