In a recent survey of 103 businesses across Wales, the Carbon Trust found that while 75% of decision makers considered enhanced corporate reputation as the major company benefit of the green economy, only 30% expected it to increase profits. Not surprisingly, only 27% of businesses in Wales are currently investing money in research and development of green products and services.
Mike Batt, manager of Carbon Trust Wales said:
“The recent quarterly GDP figures will spark new questions on where growth will come from. In my view, green growth is the only show in town. The low carbon market, already worth £3 trillion a year globally, is set to increase by 25% over the next four years.
To ensure that the Welsh economy fully benefits from this opportunity, business leaders need to place some smart early bets on the future. That’s why we are launching a new Green Growth campaign, to help business leaders in Wales identify and develop appropriate business strategies to exploit the green economy going forward.”
When asked what businesses need to have in place to ensure they can harness green growth as a commercial opportunity, the most important factor is visionary leadership, with 63% of business leaders saying its essential. Access to investment capital was also viewed by 44% in Wales as a critical determining factor.
Looking at drivers of the green economy as a whole, the majority of Welsh decision makers think legislation to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions is needed (72%). Increasing consumer demand for eco friendly products and services (63%) and advances in new green technology (62%) are seen as other important drivers for the green economy.
This new Carbon Trust Wales campaign has been welcomed by key figures across the Welsh political and business landscape including:
Jane Davidson, minister for the environment, sustainability and housing:
“Focusing on green growth and developing a low carbon economy is not only essential for delivering our carbon reduction targets here in Wales, it is also critical to helping Wales capitalise on new economic opportunities.
Our Green Jobs Strategy sets out how we will use existing strengths here in Wales and create a range of new jobs based on emerging green technologies and products – a sector already estimated to be worth 9% of Welsh GDP.
We the Welsh Assembly Government, Welsh businesses and the consumer all have a pivotal role to play in helping to realise our low carbon ambitions.”
David Rosser, director of CBI Wales:
“Wales needs to identify and remove the barriers to industry reducing carbon emissions and changing behaviour. As we come out of recession, increased industry support such as this new Carbon Trust Wales campaign focusing on the opportunities from Green Growth, is vital if businesses are to have the confidence to invest and innovate in green technology.”
The campaign was also further supported by businesses already tapping into the green economy potential such as:
Marie Fagan, general manager at the Cardiff Hilton Hotel:
“We’re serious about sustainability at the Cardiff Hilton because we know it is what both our customers and our colleagues want. We also know that it can give us significant advantage over our competitors and we are proud to be using our recent award of the Carbon Trust Standard for our cost and carbon reduction achievements to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to environmental best practice to our customers.”
Chris Smith, managing director at G-volution in Newport, an award-winning multi fuel technology provider:
“Sustainable development requires leadership from all levels of business. There is much opportunity, but only those who are prepared to take the risk – or at least the perception of risk – will really reap the rewards. Low carbon businesses (like ours) need leadership from across each company, from the workshop to the boardroom to really make change happen.”
Mark Boocock, managing director, Econotherm, Brigend-based manufacturer of waste heat recuperators:
“We are overwhelmed with demand for our products from all corners of the globe including India, Italy, Chile, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Malaysia. Our technology can achieve a 15% - 25% reduction on a piece of industrial equipment such as a boiler or furnace and a customer recently told us that they had achieved their whole site’s 5% reduction target by installing our technology on just two of their steam boilers. Large energy users in the UK can no longer afford to ignore this opportunity.”
Jonathan Luke, chief executive, Senselogix, Conwy-based energy management company:
“SenseLogix technology automates the implementation of best practice into the workplace, a key energy initiative the Carbon Trust has been promoting for a number of years, and has the ability to crossover boundaries in IT power management and energy management of building services, delivering extremely energy efficient buildings. The support we received helped us generate prospective sales in excess £3M, secure important strategic partners, and close our series A investment round.”
Survey conducted on behalf of The Carbon Trust with 103 business people across Wales. The Survey ran between 14 December 2010 – 4 January 2011 on the issue of growth in the green economy
About The Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company with the mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy, providing specialist support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies. By stimulating low carbon action we contribute to key UK goals of lower carbon emissions, the development of low carbon businesses, increased energy security and associated jobs.
We help to cut carbon emissions now by:
- providing specialist advice and finance to help organisations cut carbon
- setting standards for carbon reduction
We reduce potential future carbon emissions by:
- opening markets for low carbon technologies
- leading industry collaborations to commercialise technologies
- investing in early stage low carbon companies