Aiken PR

The Briefing

SMEs lacking green credentials risk boycott from banks

SMEs lacking green credentials risk boycott from banks Banner

by Aiken PR

08/07/2021

“Our research has shown that SMEs believe their sustainability performance will impact their ability to secure future funding.”

New research conducted by ACCA at a virtual event hosted by Limerick based Chair, Philip Maher, has found that 83% of SMEs believe that future funding and access to finance will be directly related to their sustainability performance.

However, only 10% of small businesses see consumer choices driving organisational change with 57% stating that regulatory changes will be the catalyst for the implementation of sustainable structures across industry.

The research was conducted at ACCA’s Sustainability in Finance event which engaged SMEs and accountancy professionals on the challenges and opportunities for businesses in all sectors in developing and implementing sustainable business practices.

The survey also signalled increasing demand from SMEs for sustainability advisory services such as the development of strategic initiatives that integrate sustainable practices, accessing green finance and reporting on sustainability. The results showed 60% of accountants have seen rising demand for such services and 21% of this figure stated they had seen a significant increase in demand.

Businesses also revealed where the opportunities lie to implement sustainable practices with 44% citing the sourcing of raw materials along with repurposing product use and a further 12% stating the disposal of products and end use.

Commenting, Caitriona Allis, Head of ACCA Ireland stated:

“Accountants have and will continue to play a significant role in helping SMEs identify opportunities and risks relating to better sustainability practices within their business. Our research has shown that SMEs believe their sustainability performance will impact their ability to secure future funding and that there is now a clear need to implement sustainable practices. Implementing these practices will also be crucial in adhering to new government sustainability–based policy and regulation in the future. Such shifts in government policy regarding sustainability are set to be expedited with the second phase of the Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan expected to be published this year.”