UK businesses choose profits over sustainability, contrary to public expectations: study


  • A new study has revealed a huge disparity between public opinion on how companies should behave on environmental and social issues and how companies behave.
  • Half of business decision makers surveyed in Britain did not net zero strategy provided for their businesses.
  • The survey clearly shows that companies are failing to align with the growing need for climate-related strategies.

The need for climate action has become apparent to almost every rational individual around the world, yet many of us fail to translate this awareness into action. Similarly, the imperative requirement of companies to take the appropriate measures to sustainability often receives a disappointing response.

As several countries around the world have pledged to become carbon neutral over the next few decades, UK business decision makers are still choosing profits over sustainability, according to a new report from Lloyd’s Center for responsible banking group business.

The study revealed a huge disparity between public opinion on how companies should behave on environmental and social issues and how companies behave. Half of business decision makers surveyed in Britain do not have a planned net zero strategy for their businesses. Public opinion, on the other hand, supported the idea that companies should have a plan. In fact, three out of four Britons have probed this notion, according to the Lloyds Report.

What is a net zero strategy?

Simply put, “net zero” refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gases produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.

India has also committed to becoming a carbon neutral country and was able to reduce its GDP emissions intensity by 24% between 2005 and 2016. insufficient “. Therefore, since government-backed action alone cannot help achieve long-term sustainability, businesses must scale up and contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Three in ten (30%) senior business decision makers surveyed said their goal was to drive profit rather than sustainability, growth, or purpose. On the other hand, 42% of UK adults said companies should balance profit with social and environmental justice and a further 25% said a company’s aim should be to have a positive impact on society. , says the report.

“At a time of rising social inequality and time running out to achieve the goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, our survey shows that the UK public expects and believes businesses should play an active role. in the fight against these emissions”. said Professor Ian Thomson, director of the Center and author of the book Urgent Business: Five Myths Businesses Must Overcome to Save Themselves and the Planet.

Companies are failing to align policies with desired climate strategies

The survey clearly shows that companies are failing to align with the necessary climate-related strategies. When asked what would make companies act more responsibly, more people said they thought a company would change out of fear of public boycotts, while only 7% of companies said it would cause them to act more responsibly. would make it more durable.

“These results show that the public vastly overestimates its power to influence corporate behavior change. However, it could be a brilliant business opportunity. 28% of people said they would choose the most sustainable option if they were given clear and reliable information about a product’s environmental and social impact, while only 13% of companies felt the same way,” Thomson added. .

There also appears to be a significant gap between the number of actions taken by small and large companies. The survey results indicate that very few companies are taking drastic steps to become more sustainable, and only large companies are making incremental changes.

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