A recent Wales SME Taskforce Digital Discussion addressed the challenges and opportunities for SMEs in achieving decarbonisation goals.
Hosted by Gemma Casey from NatWest, the panel, comprising of industry experts including Lloyd Powell from ACCA, Tony Greenham from British Business Bank, and Nick Stork from the Development Bank of Wales – the key discussion points revolved around the financial barriers hindering SMEs from pursuing decarbonisation, with a report by the British Business Bank highlighting cost as the primary challenge. The panellists explored the timing for SMEs to invest in decarbonisation measures and discussed funding and finance options and offered valuable insights for SMEs embarking on their decarbonisation journey, presenting funding options, and collaborative efforts driving the green economy in Wales.
Recent success stories were also shared, including businesses adopting solar panels for immediate energy cost savings and innovative cases like Frog Bikes integrating recycled materials into manufacturing. The panel emphasised the diverse journeys SMEs undertake, from small steps like going paperless to major investments in technologies such as heat pumps and electric vehicles.
The discussion highlights the flexibility of the Green Business Loan Scheme, offering SMEs patient capital, discounted interest rates, and a supportive framework. The Development Bank of Wales also plays a pivotal role, providing support for businesses at different sustainability stages.