Natwest: Number of large companies who describe sustainability as priority down


The number of large companies who describe sustainability as a priority has fallen despite small companies prioritising energy efficiency, according to a new Natwest Sustainable Business Tracker report.

Speaking to The Times newspaper Natwest chief economist Sebastian Burnside said: “This is as likely to be prompted by rocketing energy prices as it is by their desire to be more environmentally conscious”.

Despite this, recent YouGov data has shown that around a quarter of working adults would describe any part of their job as a green job, whilst 1 in 20 said that all or part of their job relates to green activities.

The news comes just weeks after Rishi Sunak made a u-turn on key UK net zero policies including pushing back the date all new cars should be sold from 2030 to 2035.

Following the launch of the policy around 14 oil companies including Shell and Harbour Energy have secured government licenses for North Sea carbon capture.

The Climate Change Committee, who advise the government on environmental policy, have said they are concerned that the government has failed to provide an estimate on the UK’s future emissions.

Subscribe to Sustainability Beat for free

Sign up here to get the latest sustainability news sent straight to your inbox everyday

The challenges

One problem faced by businesses in tackling climate change is that over half (57%) of sustainability professionals feel constrained by a lack of budget and/or interest, as businesses prioritise other areas.

In addition, almost one in three business leaders have said that they are put off by the ESG claims of companies who over-promote their environmental and societal initiatives, with many questioning the value of ESG claims.

There has also been concern around ESG claims by businesses, with high scoring ESG firms turning out to have similar pollution rates to those who are lower ranked.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.




Sign up for our daily update to get all the latest sustainability news, analysis and opinion direct to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.