Eco businesses urge G7 leaders to help turbocharge a green recovery
Businesses specialising in providing sustainable and eco-services today urge the government to use the G7 talks to turbocharge Britain’s green revolution.
As the UK looks to bounce back from COVID-19, it is becoming increasingly clear that firms offering environmentally friendly products will help provide the green shoots of economic recovery.
It is against this backdrop that chancellor Rishi Sunak last year announced a £3bn package of measures aiming to create thousands of green jobs. Experts also predict how, over the next 30 years, green and eco-friendly businesses will make up 13% of our total GDP - compared to just 2% now. This is based on projections which show consumers are increasingly wanting to shop in a more eco-friendly way. In fact, some studies have shown households would even be willing to spend up to £3,654 a year more on products which they knew were environmentally friendly.
Today business leaders and experts from the green economy set out what they’d like to see politicians at G7 leaders’ deliver on.
Steve Evans, who runs Xeroe, a 100% emission-free delivery firm, said: "Right now the green market is booming because consumers, investors and staff all want to buy from, invest in and work for sustainably-minded companies. I’d therefore like to see ministers commit to creating a vehicle-charging infrastructure. It is way behind demand right now and will slow the uptake of electric vehicles.
"Ministers could also do more to help councils face down local opposition to implementing clean air zones by making them a mandatory legal requirement. All the political leaders at G7 will have ordered something online. My message to them is if they were presented with an option to pay a little more for an emission-free delivery, then they should take it and encourage and reward others who do the same."
His comments are echoed by Elizabeth Kotoulis, Head of Product at Twipes, who make flushable and biodegradable wet wipes. She said: "I think green businesses will provide the key to the recovery of the economy post-COVID. The pandemic created a need for mass amounts of plastic PPE and set back so much progress on reducing plastic usage. Green businesses are critical to answering the planet’s cry for help at a time when we’re worse off than ever before in terms of plastic pollution. Renewable green alternatives to single-use options are definitely growing the fastest - things like compostable cutlery or reusable bags, these are becoming the standard in many cities.
"The days of single use plastic aren’t quite done with, with the pandemic and PPE still being prevalent. We believe there will be a shift in the industry calling for reusable or recyclable products and a hard push for biodegradable offerings.
"The UK government is considering banning plastic and non-flushable wet wipes, and more stringent rules are being put in place for labelling them as such, so we can see positive movement toward products like ours. But now we need innovative ideas to upset the status quo and find solutions to the outdated products and practices we’ve been forced to accept."
Adam Taylor, who runs events business Neutrino Global, said sustainability and profits can run parallel: "For us, being eco-friendly and competitive is the key. And you can do both. Businesses just want political leaders to deliver policies that match their own commitment to being eco-friendly. Businesses are making more and more informed decisions now around their supplier network. And consumers increasingly care about their own impact on the environment."
Toby Harper, CEO at Harper James Solicitors, who provide legal support to Xeroe, Neutrino Global and Twipes and specialise in legal services for entrepreneurs, will also be watching G7 with interest.
He said: "Businesses of all sizes are increasingly looking to operate in a more sustainable way and ensure their products and services are eco-friendly. We now need to see government policies which reward and encourage this."