Meanwhile, 83 percent think the government needs to do more to educate and support businesses in their sustainability efforts.
Despite this, two-thirds (67 percent) currently have a strategy in place for their enterprise – although over half (56 percent) are reluctant to introduce a policy, because they feel it is too late to reverse climate change.
But a confident 84 percent feel their company is as environmentally friendly as it claims to be.
Some of the top ways businesses are trying to be more sustainable include recycling waste (36 percent), using energy-efficient appliances (26 percent), and using environmentally friendly cleaning products (26 percent).
The research, commissioned by the UK’s leading climate action brand, Ecologi, found many are also going paperless (27 percent) and investing in smart plugs (20 percent).
But three-quarters feel overwhelmed about how their organisation can tackle climate change, and seven in ten don’t fully understand the terminology used, such as “net-zero”.
Elliot Coad, CEO and Co-Founder of Ecologi said: “It’s promising to see how many businesses are already trying to make sustainable changes – but concerning that so many are still confused, and some even believe it’s too late to make a difference.
“We aim to help businesses and individuals understand the steps they can take to become climate positive, and enable them to tackle sustainability in a simple and accessible way through a monthly subscription.
“With collective action, the smallest of changes can have a big impact.”
To help SMEs find out if they’ve got what it takes to run an eco-friendly business, Ecologi has created a quiz highlighting different environmental scenarios, to reveal how they would perform.
The study also found a third are planning to make changes to improve the sustainability of their business as soon as within the next six months.
Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of owners believe such initiatives are worthwhile, and 85 percent said it’s important to them that their company is considered sustainable.
Six in ten (61 percent) even market and advertise their environmental credentials.
But three in ten still admit their business ought to be more sustainable than it currently is, with 24 percent blaming the pandemic for getting in the way of their short-term plans.
A further one in five (22 percent) feel their plans have been hit by supply chain issues, and recent energy and fuel price rises are also causing concern for almost two-thirds (63 percent).
SME owners predict a quarter (26 percent) of their turnover is spent on green initiatives, and one in three believe they personally drive the change in their company.
But they’re not doing it alone – as 22 percent of businesses have a dedicated chief sustainability officer, with eight in ten admitting younger employees place more value on such measures.
And in comparison to their personal lives, a quarter (24 percent) of those polled, via OnePoll, admitted they are more sustainable at home than in work – with 40 percent having installed solar panels, and 28 percent changing to a renewable energy supplier.