Survey Reveals Increase in SMEs’ Interest in Green Initiatives

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SMEs for Green initiative

In a recent survey conducted by Uisce Éireann, a significant increase in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking grants to support investments in sustainable practices has been unveiled. The SME Sustainability Sentiment Survey indicates a remarkable rise of over 40% in SMEs expressing interest in grants for eco-friendly measures over the past year.

According to the survey findings, more than a third of SMEs now consider the availability of grants as a pivotal factor driving their adoption of sustainable practices. This surge underscores a notable shift towards environmentally conscious business operations within the sector.

The survey also highlights a strong commitment among small and medium-sized enterprises to uphold or amplify investments in sustainability in the coming year. An overwhelming nine out of ten respondents expressed their intent to strengthen their green initiatives, indicating a steadfast dedication to environmental responsibility.

Despite this enthusiasm for sustainability, SMEs continue to face obstacles in their green journey. Nearly half of the surveyed businesses cited a lack of available support as a significant barrier, while cost considerations remain a prevalent concern for the majority of SMEs.

In response to these challenges, the government offers several grant schemes aimed at assisting businesses in their transition towards sustainability. Initiatives such as the Energy Efficiency Grant, the Enterprise Ireland Green Transition Fund, and the Non-Domestic Microgen Scheme aim to alleviate financial burdens and encourage SMEs to embrace environmentally friendly practices.

David Broderick, Director of the Small Firms Association, emphasised the importance of environmental stewardship for small businesses. While acknowledging the positive momentum reflected in the survey results, he stressed the need for additional support from the government and local authorities to address the challenges faced by SMEs.

Geoffrey Bourke, Head of Customer Operations at Uisce Éireann, emphasised the resilience of Irish SMEs in prioritising sustainability efforts despite economic pressures. He highlighted the role of Uisce Éireann in supporting SMEs on their sustainability journey, particularly in conserving water resources.

Overall, the survey findings underscore a growing awareness and commitment among Irish SMEs towards sustainability. While challenges persist, the concerted efforts of businesses, government initiatives, and industry stakeholders are crucial in driving the transition towards a greener, more sustainable future.