MORE than two thirds of Scotland’s small and medium-sized businesses admit their eco-credentials could be better, a new survey shows.

Almost 70% of bosses asked told the latest Bank of Scotland Business Barometer that they want to improve their operation’s environmental sustainability.

Around the same level say they have already taken steps to make their businesses greener in the past 12 months.

But almost 15% say they have not done so because of cost implications.

The findings come at the start of a year during which Scotland will host the main UN summit on climate change.

COP26 will come to Glasgow for ten days in November.

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The Scottish Government aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045.

More than one third of companies told the Bank of Scotland report they are motivated to operate more sustainably by demand from customers and the general public.

The same level plan to use cash reserves to become greener, while 20% say they will rely on government grants to do so.

Fraser Sime, regional director for Scotland at Bank of Scotland commercial banking, said it can make financial sense to change working practices for the benefit of the planet.

He commented: “With environmental sustainability high on the agenda for firms of every size – whether that means they’re doing what they can to reduce energy consumption or cut waste – Scottish businesses understand there is often a financial benefit to making their operations greener.

“As ever, before making significant investments, businesses should consider all the available funding options to decide which is most appropriate for them.

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“When it comes to going green there are options such as government grants and asset finance solutions that help spread the cost of an investment over its lifetime.

“Regardless of motivation, we can be confident the impetus to introduce green measures isn’t going anywhere.

“Becoming more sustainable is a gradual process the UK business community must navigate together.”