2022: the year of sustainability? 

Customers’ green questions are influencing SME business owners’ New Year’s resolutions.

As the calendar resets and the SME business owners look out over a new 12 months, it would appear that small businesses are heading into 2022 with a positive outlook and plenty of green ambition.

Small businesses making big changes

Even at the busy end of an incredibly challenging year, business owners have found time to think about their goals for 2022, with our research showing that 60% of SME business owners have set a New Year’s resolution for their business. From cafes to construction, late night movers to last mile deliveries, it seems that everyone has an idea of what their business aims are for the next year. And what’s more, we’re seeing a trend in what these resolutions are focusing on.

Sustainability is top of the list

When it comes to resolutions, businesses are concentrating on sustainability – a keen focus for Mercedes-Benz Vans as well. This probably won’t come as a surprise, with climate change featuring heavily in the news and the electrification of vehicles not far behind. Businesses are more aware than ever that a sustainable business model means the ability to be able to quickly adapt to changing needs and demands, and green credentials are a part of this. But what is interesting is how small businesses are prioritising eco-friendly policies and changes...

  • Over three quarters of SME business owners we spoke to said their top goal is to develop a sustainable business model this year
  • 7 in 10 said they planned to focus on going green
  • Two-thirds are busy digitalising their business to reap the sustainability rewards
  • 61% plan to switch to electric vehicles in 2022
  • And over half will move towards electrifying their transport networks in 2022.

But these aren’t lofty resolutions that’ll be side-lined with the gym card come February. No, nearly three-quarters of SME business owners think they will achieve their 2022 goals, and 70% believe that making New Year’s resolutions are key to their business success. Public funding is something of a worry though. Nearly 4 in 10 small business owners don’t think there’s enough funding available to help them adapt to more sustainable models. It’s leaving those businesses feeling unsupported, at a disadvantage, and frustrated.

What’s driving this focus?

And it seems that customers are asking more and more of SMEs about their environmental credentials and beliefs...

  • Nearly 4 in 10 small business owners said the main reason for their greener New Year’s resolutions was to meet customers eco-friendly expectations
  • 15% of business owners believe that customers have already started asking about their sustainability credentials
  • 39% want to reduce the negative impact their business has on the environment
  • Just under 50% believe being more sustainable would open up new business opportunities for them.

Kevin Ferris, Head of Electric Mobility at Mercedes-Benz Vans said: “It’s great to see that Mercedes-Benz Vans UK’s values are aligned to business leaders in the SME community. We’re committed to our sustainability goals and that’s why we’re aiming to be all-electric by 2029 and why our vehicle production is now carbon neutral. This Business Barometer is a great insight into how small business, which account for 99.2% of total UK business, are taking steps towards a cleaner, greener future – and that’s the for the benefit of us all.”

Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer The Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer is a nationwide quarterly survey of SME business owners, leaders and decision makers, created to better understand the economic landscape and discover what owners and employees need to keep their business moving. Join the conversation using #bizbarometer or visit: https://bit.ly/35DdFGf