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Hospitality and leisure tops industries most concerned about reducing carbon footprint

Posted: 9th September 2021

New Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) research released today by Barclays Corporate Banking, shows that, amid growing interest in sustainability, hospitality and leisure is the industry most serious about tackling its carbon footprint.


When asked how important environmental sustainability is 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 & wholesale was third with 61%.


In July of this year, the hospitality industry was heralded by the government for the progress it is making in reducing its carbon consumption. In the Hospitality Strategy from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the industry was praised for the ‘big strides’ it is making towards a net zero strategy.


Barclays’ research shows that those strides are being driven by all corners of the industry, with 60% of hospitality and leisure bosses saying sustainability is very important to their investors and shareholders, the highest response across any industry. Meanwhile, 70% of hospitality and leisure respondents say it’s very important to their customers, and 63% say it’s 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’. Retail and wholesale ranked second, followed by manufacturing in third, at 81% and 80% respectively.


Promisingly, every industry across the board expects ESG considerations to grow in importance over the next few years. Those who are most certain of increased ESG responsibilities in the future are 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, commented:

“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 include:

Three-quarters (75%) of businesses now view compliance with environmental rules and regulations as extremely important to their organisation

Over three fifths (61%) now believe environmental sustainability is extremely important to their business

87% of businesses say environmental sustainability is either extremely or reasonably important to their customers

91% of the firms surveyed say they recognise environmental sustainability is of extreme or reasonable importance to their employees

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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