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    UK firms 'shy away from low-carbon investment': report

Summary

However, those that have taken the plunge have seen their costs fall.

by: William Powell

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UK firms 'shy away from low-carbon investment': report

It has become harder for 60% of UK businesses to justify spending on low-carbon energy technology in the wake of COVID-19, a survey by utility Centrica has found.

Its Why wait to pursue net zero? report published June 9 found that, in the year of COP 26 climate talks, 49% of businesses say it is hard to make the case for investment even if it results in long-term savings. While 43% claim that operating a sustainable business model remains a "top priority," 42% say they are focused on achieving a strong financial performance and profitability as they navigate pandemic recovery.

It said: "In the year of Britain hosting the COP26 climate talks, it’s vital that organisations such as ours provide peace of mind to those businesses struggling to commit to a low carbon future that improving their energy security can also provide cost certainty."

Centrica Business Solutions head, Greg McKenna, said: "Disappointingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, our Why wait to pursue net zero? research shows the impact the pandemic has had on business’ ability to prioritise investment in green strategies, with many struggling to justify up front capex on low-carbon technology.

“But the evidence shows that a progressive approach to energy can bolster businesses’ balance sheets and support recovery from the impact of COVID-19. Indeed, this polling shows the commercial opportunity a more advanced approach to energy strategy presents. Firms that have already invested in innovative energy technology have been able to cut costs as well as carbon emissions – and unlock new revenue streams."