Andrew Cowling, partner at Chartered Accountants Wylie & Bisset

CHARTERED Accountants Wylie & Bisset is urging SMEs to take advantage of post-Covid opportunities to implement circular economy practices to boost growth, job creation and innovative sustainable solutions.

Partner Andrew Cowling said that the circular economy presents various financial and competitive opportunities for those companies ready and willing to embrace its principles.

“Job creation, stimulating innovation and competition, and securing the sustainable supply of raw materials are all beneficial factors associated with a circular economy,” he said.

“We would encourage businesses to consider adopting circular practices to improve business opportunities.”

The £70-million Circular Economy Investment Fund and Service, delivered by Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, aims to help SMEs develop innovative technologies, business models and infrastructure, offering development support to businesses seeking to redesign their processes and products, and implement resource efficiency measures.

“Funding to encourage SMEs to consider sustainability issues, should help incentivise business owners to build sustainability into their future growth strategies,” said Cowling.

“While most small business owners will typically have considered the most cost-efficient method of production or service delivery rather than the most environmentally-friendly method, we would advise that more sustainable business processes be built into their business plans to ensure that they will be fully compliant going forward.

“Customers are taking more and more interest in the sustainability credentials and ethical values of businesses and are looking for this information before making buying decisions.

Early adopters in this transition to more sustainable production practices could gain competitive advantage by offering an attractive USP to this growing number of environmentally conscious customers.

“We can help them build sustainability into their business plan and ensure they have the optimum cost model going forward so that when they produce goods in a more environmentally-conscious process, they have the right plan in place to maintain profitability and long term sustainability,” said Cowling.