The proportion of SMEs in the UK doing “little
or nothing” to reduce carbon emissions rose 23% between 2007 and
2009, according to a survey commissioned by GE Capital.

The survey’s findings showed that, of the 500
owner/managers of SMEs interviewed, just 9% are putting a
“significant” amount of investment into shrinking emissions in the
aftermath of the recession.

However, the research also found that 4% have
already invested in solar panels and wind turbines as a measure to
make their companies greener, while another 14% are considering
doing so.

Manufacturing, IT, media, telecoms and
construction companies were among the sectors continuing to focus
on “green investments”, the survey found.

John Jenkins, CEO, GE Capital UK said: “There
is no doubt that the recession has had a major impact on SMEs’
attitudes and strategies towards green investments.

“Many firms may have chosen to defer or halt
any further outlay into energy and CO2 efficient equipment,
preferring to consolidate their financial positions instead.”

A total of 42% of those interviewed said
improved tax breaks would encourage them to take steps to reduce
emissions, while 34% said more assistance with funding would

See the July edition of Leasing Life for a
full report on renewable energy finance

Claire Hack