Smaller firms turn to sustainability for growth and investment

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NEW DELHI: Almost a third (30%) of smaller companies consider having a sustainable impact on the community and environment as one of their top three long-term objectives, data from HSBC Commercial Banking shows.

Indonesia (43%), UAE/Saudi Arabia (36%) and Australia (34%) are the countries where firms are most likely to focus their long-term strategies on this, as well as companies in the Mining (42%), Utilities (38%) and Manufacturing (37%) sectors.

In the poll of more than 1,400 decision-makers across 14 countries, half (50%) recognise their customers are demanding products that consider environmental and social impacts. This can act as a competitive advantage. In fact, 59% of firms say that sustainable business practices will improve their growth and profitability.

Companies in the Manufacturing sector (72%) and in India (68%), Saudi Arabia (66%) and Canada (66%) are the most likely to recognise this commercial benefit. Almost a third (30%) of companies globally also believe that becoming a more sustainable business will contribute to improving their financial performance over the next three years.

To unlock further growth, more than a quarter (27%) of smaller companies have prioritised investment to become more sustainable, with firms in Saudi Arabia (34%), Hong Kong (33%) and Australia (33%) the most likely to have done so. In terms of sectors, Mining (36%), Professional Services (34%) and Utilities (33%) show the greatest commitment to becoming more sustainable in terms of investment.

Bryan Pascoe, Global Head of Client Coverage, HSBC Commercial Banking, said, “The importance of building sustainable practices into their immediate and long-term strategies has become a no-brainer for business leaders. That’s what customers are demanding, and that’s how businesses will find growth to compete in today’s economy. It is positive to see smaller firms are not only aware of sustainability as a potential game-changer, but many are already capitalising on trends and taking action.”

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