Close to 23 percent of the businesses have mainly made sustainability efforts in the field of energy. Measures related to the circular economy ─ environmentally conscious handling of raw materials and waste ─ were mentioned by 15 percent. Eight percent of the businesses were undertaking emission reductions. Nearly 36 percent of the enterprises said they had taken a combination of measures relating to energy, emissions or the circular economy. Almost 18 percent of the businesses have not improved sustainability further this year.
Businesses in transportation and storage more often work on their emissions compared to other sectors, and those in culture, sports and recreation, automotive and retail trade are more likely to have taken energy measures. In accommodation and food services, circular measures have become more important.
|Bedrijfstak||None (% of businesses)||Mainly in energy (% of businesses)||Mainly in emissions (% of businesses)||Mainly environmental conscious handling of raw materials and waste (% of businesses)||Combination of the above (% of businesses)||Other measures (% of businesses)|
|Total (manufacturing, automotive and|
retail trade, services)
|Automotive and repair||11.8||33.5||5.5||13.6||35.6||0.0|
|Real estate activities||12.0||21.7||9.4||9.3||47.4||0.2|
|Transport and storage||14.3||12.9||27.2||11.0||33.9||0.7|
|Accommodation and food services||18.8||23.2||1.7||30.2||25.5||0.6|
|Culture, sports and recreation||18.8||33.6||3.3||18.9||25.0||0.4|
other business services
|Information and communication||23.6||17.8||5.5||8.2||40.6||4.3|
|Specialised business services||26.5||15.8||8.4||14.7||33.2||1.4|
Small businesses more often have limited financial resourcesA quarter of entrepreneurs say that dependence on third parties is the main barrier to making their operations more sustainable. Over 14 percent cite a lack of financial resources as the main obstacle. A slightly smaller group (11 percent) sees too few benefits from increased sustainability. On the other hand, more than 32 percent of the businesses experience no hindrance in their sustainability efforts.
In large enterprises (businesses with at least 250 employees), 3 in 10 companies mention dependence on third parties as the main barrier to sustainability. In small companies (up to 50 employees), 2 in 10 say the same. Small businesses mention a lack of financial resources, unfamiliarity with the possibilities of (further) sustainability and a perception of little benefit more often as the main obstacle compared to large enterprises.
|Bedrijfsgrootte||Do not expect any obstacles (% of enterprises)||Do not know how to make operations (more) sustainable (% of enterprises)||Lack of financial resources (% of enterprises)||Shortage of staff to realise sustainability goals (% of enterprises)||Dependent on third parties (% of enterprises)||Not enough benefits (e.g. competitively, financially) (% of enterprises)||Other (% of enterprises)|
|250 or more employees||33.5||4.9||12.2||6.6||30.8||7.6||4.4|
Large enterprises more often consider their operations as largely sustainable
Nearly 35 percent of the enterprises rate their business operations as largely or fully sustainable. Almost half say their business operates partially sustainable and 15 percent think their business is sustainable to a small extent. Large enterprises are more likely to rate their business operations as largely sustainable than SMEs. The results do not imply that all economic activities are equally sustainable. For example, businesses more often measure their performance against standards, peer companies or sustainability opportunities within their sector than benchmarking themselves against (more sustainable) enterprises in other sectors.
|Bedrijfsgrootte||(Almost) entirely sustainable (% of enterprises)||Sustainable to a large extent (% of enterprises)||Sustainable neither to a large nor to a small extent (% of enterprises)||Sustainable to a small extent (% of enterprises)||Hardly or not at all sustainable (% of enterprises)|
|250 or more employees||2.1||37.7||46.1||12.4||1.7|