While 85% of SMEs surveyed believe that sustainability is important to their business, only 43% currently have targets in place, according to new research by Virgin Money.
That’s why we’re partnering together to launch a new benchmarking tool that helps small to medium sized businesses improve their sustainability efforts.
The beta version launches today, and it is open to any UK business wanting to understand how it can contribute to a more sustainable future, while increasing its own resilience to future shocks. Used in a banking context for the first time, the downloadable tool walks users through a series of questions based on the Future-Fit Business Benchmark and uses a straightforward scoring mechanism to help SMEs quickly get a sense of their environmental and social impacts. It also offers tailored suggestions for improvement.
Graeme Sands, Corporate & Mid-Market Director at Virgin Money, said: “While the disruption of COVID-19 has brought on an array of new challenges to be navigated, businesses need to ensure that sustainability remains a priority. At Virgin Money we’re committed to improving our own impacts, but we know we are in a position to help companies do their bit too – and that’s why we decided to team up with Future-Fit to design and launch the beta version of this tool.
“As well as supporting business in its sustainability journey, once the benchmarking tool is fine-tuned we will provide lower cost, and easier access to, finance for customers pioneering what it means to be a sustainable business.”
Dr Geoff Kendall, CEO of Future-Fit Foundation, said: “Right now, SMEs across the UK are understandably focusing on business survival. But if the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that our economy was nowhere near as resilient as many of us thought. Going ‘back’ is not the answer. We need to build back better – and with simple, practical advice, any business can make a few small changes. If enough businesses step up, it’s possible to shift the UK economy onto a more resilient and regenerative path. That’s exactly what we designed the Future-Fit Business Benchmark to do – and we’re delighted to partner with Virgin Money, to translate it into this new, easy-to-use tool tailored specifically to the needs of UK SMEs.”