SME Builders and the Race to Net Zero

In the race to net zero smaller companies are best poised to deliver rapid advancements in sustainability.

Cost and speed of build have historically been primary factors in environmental impacts being an afterthought for SMEs. The discord between profits and environmental protection has been a major barrier to the greening of the construction industry, specifically at an SME level.

However, SMEs are uniquely positioned to innovate and respond quickly to green infrastructure requirements potentially contributing greatly to net-zero ambitions.

Legislative pressures have increased throughout the supply chain putting environmental concerns at the forefront of small firm’s business agendas. Combined with stakeholder pressure, these factors will be key drivers in SMEs buying into green innovation within the construction industry.

Demonstrating engagement with sustainability agendas gives smaller companies a competitive edge within the procurement process and adhering to benchmark sustainability standards, which are now coming to the fore, allows competitive sustainability advantage to be objectively measured.

Regulations are contributing heavily to knowledge sharing across the housing sector, increasing the speed at which SMEs can adopt net-zero carbon strategies.

With ambitions for SMEs to aid in delivering ambitious housing targets, major changes to the planning process and access to funding will be required to entice independent, local construction businesses back into the market.

Planning reforms set out in last years ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper will help to open the market to SMEs who are poised to deliver green homes. Funding has also been addressed with £1 billion of guarantees provided through the British Bank’s ENABLE Build programme, launched in 2019 specifically aimed at smaller, local, independent housebuilders.

In planning terms, providing a strong sustainability argument could contribute great weight within the planning process, potentially outweighing other harm arising from the development, of course, this will be considered on an individual application basis.

Contact Optimis today to discuss the sustainability merits of your development projects.

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