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Smaller Scottish companies feel less prepared for climate change

Union Street, Aberdeen
Increased reliance on cars once the lockdown measures ease will support petrol demand, potentially for years to come.

Smaller Scottish companies feel less prepared to cope with the impact of climate change compared to larger firms, according to a new poll.

The survey of 300 businesses, commissioned by WWF Scotland, indicates only two in five of Scotland’s small and medium-sized firms feel prepared to deal with the risks of climate change.

More than three-quarters of larger businesses stated they are either fully or partly prepared.

They also dwarfed small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by the proportion of responses suggesting climate change does pose a threat, with 85% of big business agreeing it is a risk compared to 23% of SMEs.

Gina Hanrahan, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: “These findings should ring a warning bell for our political and business leaders that many of the smaller companies that form the backbone of Scotland’s economy are ill-prepared for the very real effects of climate change.

“Climate change poses many chronic and severe risks to our economic stability and our social fabric. But the actions we need to tackle climate change, like building warmer homes, developing new modes of transport and modernising how we grow our food, will also present huge innovation and economic opportunities for forward-thinking businesses in Scotland.”

Garth Gulland, owner of Glasgow fruit and veg merchant Roots, Fruits and Flowers, said: “My business relies on providing good quality, seasonal produce to my customers.

“This year proved to be challenging, with the very dry summer meaning many of our UK-grown fruit and vegetables were affected.

“The UK isn’t used to such hot, prolonged spells of weather and therefore growers aren’t as prepared to deal with it, resulting in many soft fruits and salad crops being ruined. The cost of some staples, like potatoes, doubled during the year.

“Businesses like mine need more support to prepare for the consequences of our changing climate, and more support to reduce our own impacts on the environment would be very welcome too.”

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