Businesses ‘put off’ green technology

Businesses want to install low-carbon technology but are being put off by limited product ranges and financing options and too few tax breaks, according to a new study.

Research by Siemens Financial Services found that two-fifths of British firms have implemented measures to reduce their carbon emissions and a quarter of companies measure their carbon footprint.

But it revealed that many firms, particularly small businesses, are being held back because of a limited choice of products on the market and the large initial cost of buying new equipment.

A quarter of British businesses surveyed said they do not have the capital to replace their existing equipment with environmentally-friendly alternatives and 57% said the running costs of such equipment must be the same or lower than standard equipment.

A report by Siemens Financial Services said manufacturers, vendors and the Government needed to present the business case for green technology.

It recommended extending green product ranges and making finance schemes more easily available, as well as demonstrating to purchasers how much they would save.

Siemens director Rod Tonna-Barthet told edie: “This is just about making green affordable. Going green makes sense financially to your business.”

He added that Government ministers need to create tax incentives for investing in the technology if they wanted to meet their aims of reducing carbon emissions by at least 60% by 2050.

Mr Tonna-Barthet said: “The current tax environment actually contradicts the Government’s own stated aims. I just don’t think they’ve joined the dots.”

Penny Shepherd, chief executive of the UK Social Investment Forum, backed Siemens’ conclusions and praised the large numbers of businesses trying to reduce their carbon footprints.

She added: “Of course, the future of our economy, our children and our communities demands that these percentages grow and that monitoring is backed up by increases in practical action – particularly the move to ever more efficient equipment.”

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie