New research released today by Barclays Corporate Banking found that the hospitality and leisure industry is the most serious about tackling its carbon footprint.
When asked how important environmental sustainability was to their organisations, 70% of hospitality and leisure respondents rated it as ‘extremely important', comfortably ahead of the survey average (61%). Transport and distribution came in second with 63% of people in the industry rating sustainability as ‘extremely important', while retail and wholesale was third with 61%.
In July of this year, the hospitality industry was heralded by the government for the progress it was making in reducing its carbon consumption. In the Hospitality Strategy from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the industry was praised for the "big strides" it was making towards a net zero strategy.
Barclays' research found that those strides were being driven by all corners of the industry, with 60% of hospitality and leisure bosses saying sustainability was very important to their investors and shareholders, the highest response across any industry. Meanwhile, 70% of hospitality and leisure respondents said it was very important to their customers, and 63% said it was very important to their suppliers.
When translating the importance of environmental sustainability into compliance with green rules and regulations, however, transport and distribution topped the pile, with 86% of organisations in the industry rating compliance as ‘extremely important'.
Every industry across the board expected Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations to grow in importance over the next few years. Those who were most certain of increased ESG responsibilities in the future were transport and distribution (92%), hospitality and leisure (83%) and technology, media and telecommunications (77%).
Marco DeBenedictis, head of sustainable and transition finance at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: "It's very encouraging to see industries aware of the changing landscape they are operating in. Tighter rules and regulations around sustainability are to be expected over the coming years as we work towards greener solutions to reduce emissions across all industries.
"Our report highlights the increased focus businesses have on tackling climate change. By ensuring companies have access to the necessary financial support, Barclays can help them to meet crucial ESG targets."
Other findings from the research included:
- 75% of businesses viewed compliance with environmental rules and regulations as extremely important to their organisation
- 61% believed environmental sustainability was extremely important to their business
- 87% of businesses said environmental sustainability was either extremely or reasonably important to their customers
- 91% of the firms surveyed said they recognised environmental sustainability was of extreme or reasonable importance to their employees.