SSE Airtricity has published findings from its new Green Business Sentiment Index. The research, carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of SSE Airtricity, highlights an urgent need for education around green energy and energy efficiency measures among Irish business owners.
A staggering 49 per cent of all businesses in Ireland don’t know if their energy is renewable; while the vast majority of businesses (84 per cent ) consider themselves to be environmentally friendly.
Ireland’s largest provider of 100 per cent green energy, commissioned this national report to gain a better understanding of the sentiment among Irish businesses when it comes to sustainability and green practices – particularly in light of the ongoing impact of Covid-19.
Key findings from the research
(1 ) 73 per cent still consider the issue of climate change to be important while in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic; (2 ) 60 per cent say sustainability and climate change have an impact on their decision making; (3 ) 84 per cent consider themselves to be environmentally friendly; (4 ) 49 per cent are unaware if their energy is renewable or not ; (5 ) Just 22 per cent claim to avail of renewable energy; (6 ) 46 per cent still see cost as the main hurdle in reducing their carbon footprint ; (7 ) At least 29 per cent are not using renewable energy; (8 ) 37 per cent believe that being a greener business attracts more customers; (9 ) Over a quarter (27 per cent ) don’t know what retro-fitting is; (10 ) 77 per cent of businesses feel Government supports would help influence them in considering retro-fitting and (11 ) 37 per cent of businesses have incorporated retro-fitting into their premises
Workplace practices are largely aligned to a more sustainable future, with many businesses having incorporated environmentally sustainable practices into their operations. Nine percent of businesses have yet to introduce any recycling in the workplace and similarly only 11 per cent have incorporated electric vehicles (EVs ) into their fleets, but there are more positive practices which include: (1 ) 73 per cent of companies use keep cups and reusable packaging; (2 ) 30 per cent have cycle to work policy and 25 per cent have car-pooling policy
Obstacles to Green Practices
The cost of introducing sustainable measures remains an issue with 46 per cent of all businesses seeing cost as the main hurdle in reducing their carbon footprint. While 37 per cent of businesses surveyed have incorporated retro-fitting into their premises, more than a quarter of businesses in Ireland don’t know what retro-fitting is.
Behaviour and Attitudes carried out this research on behalf of SSE Airtricity among a national representative sample of 362 business owners in Ireland. Fieldwork took place from July 17 to July 27 2020 using telephone and online methodologies in line with Covid-19 restrictions.