Irish Water survey notes SME attitudes to conservation and sustainability

Just 14% of Irish Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs ) plan to increase investment in sustainability practices and solutions such as water conservation, energy conservation and recycling in the next 12 months due to rising costs pressures, according to a new Irish Water survey of SME attitudes to conservation and sustainability, developed in partnership with the Small Firms Association.

“Despite 42% of Irish SMEs believing being seen to pursue sustainable practices is important to their existing customers, and more than half agreeing sustainable businesses attract more customers, only one in ten Irish SMEs are now actively committed to sustainability and environmental issues within their businesses. In Q4 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic, SME respondents were found to be three times more likely to be actively committed to sustainability and environmental issues.

“Conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes (B&A ), Irish Water’s SME Sentiment Survey interviewed over 350 SMEs, seeking their opinion on the importance of investing in sustainability for their businesses and examining the barriers that currently exist to investment in the area.

“The survey found three-quarters (76% ) of SME’s identified cost concerns and rising costs as the stand-out barrier to investing more in sustainability practices. Too much resource required (32% ) was also named as an important factor discouraging investment.

“When asked about which sustainability and conservation practices they were currently pursuing or plan to do in the next year in a meaningful way, unsurprisingly energy saving (88% ) and recycling (88% ) are now receiving the most attention. Seven out of 10 SMEs are engaging or plan to engage in water related conservation activities,” Irish Water stated.


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