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Almost half of UK firms concerned about the impact of climate change

Analysis of the ONS’ Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) by global circularity experts, Reconomy, reveals a mismatch between businesses’ worries about climate change and action to mitigate environmental damage.

It highlights the vast potential for corporate consensus to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in the UK but shows the need for warm words to translate into tangible sustainability change soon.

The BICS survey data shows that nearly half (49 per cent) of firms with more than 10 employees said that they are concerned about the potential impact of climate change on their business. But when asked what steps, if any, they had taken to protect the environment, an identical proportion (49 per cent) were unable to identify any measures with over a quarter (28 per cent) saying they were unsure what, if any, action they had taken.

Of the most popular responses, around one in 10 (eight per cent) businesses said that they had a climate change strategy in place, seven per cent monitoring climate-related risks with a further six per cent establishing targets around net-zero and greenhouse gas emissions.

Commenting on the data, Diane Crowe, Head of Sustainability at Reconomy, said: “Many firms are proactively taking the initiative to embed sustainability at the heart of their business. We firmly believe that as the transition to the circular economy accelerates, these businesses will be best-placed to prosper. They will have the data and analysis on environmental and climate-related risks to plan and make operational changes and will be ahead on making the positive adaptations required.  

“There has been significant progress from businesses in the UK effecting positive environmental change and a growing recognition of its importance in meeting emerging regulation and governance requirements. As this data demonstrates, however, we still have a way to go in transforming corporate attitudes around sustainability and in ensuring warm words on the environment translate into positive change and action.”

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