The proportion of small and medium UK companies that are looking to increase their overseas exports has grown since 2011. Research by Carbon Trust has found that 76% of low-carbon businesses are looking to enter or expand their international exports in 2013, compared to just 37% in 2011.
Popular export markets include the USA and Germany, but ventures and in roads have been made to China, Canada and the Middle East. The report says that funding is a real issue for low carbon businesses but the figures surrounding growth are encouraging.
Energy efficient and environmentally aware businesses are usually in the possession of ISO 14001 certification. This will allow a business to put in place structures that make savings with regard to energy, waste and water. It can sometimes be as simple as installing energy efficient light bulbs that could result in massive savings. This could perhaps be enough to train a new member of staff that could work to increase a company’s online presence, say.
Similarly, the ISO 14001 demonstrates a commitment to the environment and shows that a company is willing to take on extra responsibility, perhaps leading to an increase in attention from local or national government. The Carbon Trust report actually found that 54% of low carbon businesses received governmental grants to assist with funding and a further 21.5% received financial rewards for their work. Additionally, the possession of the certificate will help an organisation with their bids for new contracts or clients. Accreditation with the ISO 14001 certificate will help a business to grow and appeal to clients concerned with the green industry, providing an edge over competitors in the same field.
There’s little the ISO 14001 does not do. It protects a company against future laws and regulations by encouraging proactive sustainability and will also improve the overall reputation of a company, showing that they are forward thinking and concerned with adapting to the changing world.
The report from Carbon Trust showed London, Oxford, Southampton and Nottingham as hotspots for low carbon businesses. The low carbon industry is reported to be worth over £120 billion to the UK economy, and globally the industry is worth over £3 trillion. The low carbon industry is also continuing to grow despite the tough economic climate. Over half of the companies questioned said they had created new jobs in the past year and two thirds claimed they wished to create more jobs in the up and coming 12 months, showing that the low carbon industry is a real engine of growth in the UK economy.