Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

British Companies Choosing Profits Over Sustainability, Study

A new study revealed a huge disparity between public opinion on how businesses should behave regarding environmental and social issues and how companies conduct themselves.
May 10, 2022
British Companies
Representational Image. Photo Credit: Flickr

Although many countries around the world have pledged to go carbon neutral in the coming decades, United Kingdom’s business decision makers continue to choose profit over sustainability, according to a new report from the Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business.

The study found wide disparities in public opinion about how companies deal with environmental and social issues and how they should tackle them. Half of the business decision makers surveyed in the UK do not have a net zero strategy devised for their business. Public opinion, for its part, supported the idea that companies should have a plan. In fact, according to Lloyd’s report, three out of four Britons have propagated the idea.

Of the key business decision makers surveyed, three in ten (30%) said their goal was to generate profit over sustainability, growth or purpose. On the other hand, 42% of UK adults say that businesses should balance profit with social and environmental justice and a further 25% say the business aims to make a positive impact on society, according to the report.

The survey clearly shows that companies are failing to align with the required climate strategies. When asked what would motivate companies to act more responsibly, more people said they thought a company would change for fear of a public boycott, while only 7% said it would make them more sustainable.

There appears to be a significant difference between the number of shares held by small and large companies. Survey results show that very few companies are taking drastic steps to become more sustainable, and only the largest companies are making incremental changes.