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Business put green issues at top of the list

Most UK businesses are more likely to invest in green issues than employment training, according to new research. Grant Thornton, business and financial advisers, conducted a survey of 200 medium and large businesses across the UK and found that 40% of them were most likely to invest in environmental responsibility areas this year. The study also showed that recycling was popular with businesses with a huge 81% participating in some form of recycling. In addition, of those business leaders questioned, an overwhelming 99% put environmental issues at the top of their organisations agendas. Grant Thornton head of strategic service services group Alysoun Stewart said: These results are an encouraging start and suggest that businesses appear to be tuned in to the importance of adopting a responsible attitude towards the environment and their corporate obligations. In todays business market, environmental and corporate responsibility related activities are ceasing to be seen as pioneering and instead as something that should be ingrained in business purpose and strategy. Collectively, the 200 companies surveyed claimed to have spent more than £400 million on environmental responsibility. Large profile companies, such as Tesco, Innocent Drinks and Marks & Spencer, have recognised the fact that environmental responsibility is fundamental to their trading future. For example, 75% of businesses believe that being a green company makes them more attractive from a recruitment perspective. However, the survey shows that more than half of businesses cite cost as a limiting factor to further investment. Despite understanding the importance of environmental and corporate responsibility initiatives, it appears that many are driven by short-termism when it comes to cost, rather than recognising the medium term benefits of investment, said Stewart. UK businesses seem to view the obstacles that stand in its way, including a lack of financial incentives and fragmented sources of information as a failing from the Government. We are playing our part now it is time for the Government to step up to the challenge seems to be the message. Image: Alysoun Stewart

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