The conclusion was arrived at in a new report released by Zero Waste Scotland – which encourages Sottish businesses to make use of an SME Loan Fund scheme of up to £100,000 to improve their energy efficiency efforts.

Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive, Iain Gulland, said: “We know many businesses share our vision of maximising resource efficiency and keeping costly waste to a minimum, and often it’s the initial investment needed that’s the missing ingredient.

“The SME Loan Fund is a great way for enterprises to make optimum use of energy, water and waste under expert guidance at no extra cost – ultimately delivering savings while helping the environment.

“Businesses from a wide range of sectors have already benefitted from SME Loan funding and we want to see even more taking up this fantastic opportunity. We look forward to working with small and medium-sized businesses with big ambitions for reducing their carbon footprint.”

This news comes off the back of a recent survey by ScottishPower that shows UK businesses in general are making little headway with energy saving measures. The survey found that only one in 10 SMEs in the UK claim to have reduced their energy consumption within the past 12 months.

Energy efficiency measures that Zero Waste Scotland encourages SMEs to invest in include: LED lighting, better insulation, boiler upgrades and renewable technologies – with each option ranging in scale and cost that can potentially be implemented with a £1,000 to £100,000 loan.

In addition to the loan, businesses will also receive the help of a Resource Efficient Scotland expert advisor that will help at every stage of a projects development.

This is the latest sign of improvements Scottish SMEs could make to drive forward their sustainability efforts. Last month saw a similar targeted funding from the Scottish government to better support the nation’s SMEs in embrace the shift to a circular economy.

The circular regional funding programme is part of a series of structured grants from Scotland’s  Circular Economy Investment Fund, an £18m fund that offers grants ranging from £20,000 to a maximum of £1,000,000 to help SMEs pioneer ways to develop a circular economy.

Alex Baldwin

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