Companies based in the UK believe that hiring and retaining new staff will be the main challenge they will face in the next five years.
New research from Shirlaws Global has revealed that tackling the problem of finding workers is rated a top concern by businesses over other issues, including the need to be eco-friendly.
Darren Shirlaw, founder of the international business coaching organisation, said: "It has to be a concern that this sector of the commercial community is not registering the impact that green issues will have on the future of their businesses."
The survey shows that 62 per cent of respondents placed recruitment first in a list of five main concerns for their business, while "reducing environmental impact" was included by just 6.6 per cent of companies.
Mr Shirlaw added: "From our experience coaching SMEs we know that management time is often spent on day-to-day administration rather than concentrating on strategic issues to help develop the business.
"I would anticipate that being 'time-poor' has contributed to senior managers relegating environmental policies to the bottom of the list of things they consider to be important."