Financing the Future: World Environmental Day
“Going green” in business isn’t always as simple as it sounds. For firms to truly meet demands - from stakeholders and customers - for greener product lines and eco-friendly business models, thorough planning and investment is required.
In a week that plays host to World Environmental Day, we’re discussing the importance of sustainability in a business and the role that alternative financing can play in making it a success. Beating plastic pollution is this year’s initiative, and with many food and beverage businesses facing a single-use plastic ban, now is the perfect time to be putting plans into action and making investments into sustainability.
Why it matters
Aside from the very central and critical environmental concerns, there are so many reasons that businesses should consider their green credentials. Consumers are becoming much more conscious of their buying choices. In a recent survey we asked our networks if they would be more encouraged to buy from a business that was plastic free. ‘Yes’ was a clear winner from 75% of respondents, and so the decision for businesses is obvious; switching to plastic-free is about staying competitive, responding to consumers’ buying choices and succeeding as a result.
Putting sustainability back on the agenda
In a year that has offered SMEs more certainty than the last, many businesses are fit and fighting, ready to take on new challenges and move investment back up the list of financial priorities. But the fact remains that many firms are still struggling with the aftershocks of an unsettled economy. The reality is that enhancing sustainability and reducing plastic use are not in easy reach for everyone.
Financing the shift for SMEs
This October the Government will be introducing new legislation that will impose a far-reaching ban on single-use plastics in England. For the many food and beverage businesses in the SME space, this means that supplying environmentally friendly products, and in-turn using a greener supply chain, is now absolutely necessary.
Whether businesses opt for recycled or reusable products, the move to become plastic-free will come at a much higher cost to businesses. For the estimated 143,000 of hospitality businesses in the UK, leveraging alternative finance solutions can inject vital capital to enable this shift, helping them to respond to the outside world and consumer demands - but without impacting their bottom line.
Flexible solutions such as Asset Based Lending, Asset Finance and Loans give SMEs an invaluable cash injection and support system to meet the financial demands of CSR initiatives. Just recently we supported Norwich-based energy consultancy, Indigo Swan, with a six-figure invoice finance facility, which was in-part designed to help introduce new technology, processes and systems to streamline the energy procurement process and enable businesses to reduce their energy consumption and environmental impact. At Time Finance we’re determined to support every business that we can in their next venture. Investment for growth will always be the true benefit of alternative finance, but equally exciting is alternative finance’s role in investing for change.