Sustainability is among the key aspirations of British businesses, with more than three quarters declaring plans to develop sustainable business models.
The figure was revealed in the latest edition of the Business Barometer survey, commissioned by Mercedes-Benz Vans UK, to gauge the opinions of the companies that keep Britain’s economy moving.
The quarterly report asked 500 small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) companies – defined as those with fewer than 250 employees – a range of questions about their thoughts, plans and aspirations.
Of those who said they had, or intended to, set themselves targets, 76.9% agreed either ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ with the statement: “Developing a sustainable business model is a top goal for 2022”.
This view was particularly strong among female business leaders, and those aged 25-34, with over 80% agreeing with the statement in both cases. Meanwhile a near-unanimous 20 out of 21 business owners aged 24 or under also gave a positive response to the same assertion.
Confidence was strong too, with more than 70% of respondents saying they believed they would achieve their goals.
Expectation of exacting sustainability standards among businesses colleagues was also high – more than 60% of those surveyed said they would consider ceasing work with a partner or supplier business if they did not uphold their environmental promises.
For many, reducing the environmental impact of their transport operations will be a key tactic in ‘going greener’ – more than 60% said they were planning to switch to electric vehicles, with just 20% saying they were not (a further 20% were undecided). Almost 70% of those taking part intended to introduce more digitilisation into their business models.
Former winner of TV’s ‘The Apprentice’, and SME business mentor Joseph Valente commented: “It’s great to see that so many of the business owners we spoke to are facing the future with confidence, and setting clear goals for the ongoing success of their companies. Identifying targets and laying plans to meet them are key drivers of business success.”
Mercedes-Benz Vans UK’s Head of Electric Mobility, Kevin Ferris, added: “These figures show that Britain’s army of entrepreneurs are looking ahead positively, and are committed to doing their best to operate in tune with the environment. Here at Mercedes-Benz Vans we’re determined to offer the complete mobility solutions that will help them attain their objectives
“We want to understand the issues that keep our customers awake at night, the challenges and opportunities they face, the kind of support they need – and why.
“This window into the way business people think allows us to tailor our products and services to meet their needs. But we also hope the Business Barometer surveys can help some of the most important voices in the UK economy – the diverse and hard-working community of van drivers and owners that keeps Britain moving – to be heard more widely.”