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Sustainability Conundrum for Established Microbusinesses

As the world increasingly priorities sustainability and responds to public pressure to reduce carbon footprints, businesses of all sizes are searching for ways to adapt to new regulations and changing customer demands. Although larger corporations typically have the resources to make significant changes, smaller businesses, especially microbusinesses can face unique challenges.

The dilemma of microbusinesses and achieving net-zero was highlighted to me, as I recall meeting a man on a trip to Scotland who engaged in fishing on a micro-commercial basis.

It is admirable to be at the forefront of industry standards and push commercial boundaries, but it can leave micro established local businesses in a complicated scenario when there is neither a need nor a desire to do so.

I know options are limited because major policies cannot have different levels of implementation for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses across all industries . It is interesting to consider that the economics of a microbusiness can be sustainable regardless of the environmental policies that it adheres to, due to the limited scale of its operations and the fact that its only sales channel is a local market.

However, implementing new engine requirements, bio lubricants, and degradable fishing equipment can lead to increased debt, which in turn forces the need for increased sales and operating hours, and expansion into further markets. These measures can only be achieved by increasing the amount of fish caught, which can increase the environmental footprint of the business and make it less in line with environmental systems than it originally was.

While sustainability is a global imperative, it is important to recognise that microbusinesses face unique challenges in achieving net-zero, and a one-size-fits-all approach may not be appropriate. As we strive for a more sustainable future, we must also consider the economic realities of microbusinesses and find ways to support their efforts to reduce their environmental impact without compromising their viability.

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