Environmental costs worry UK industry

Survey of top British firms finds rising concern over costs of environmental programmes

UK firms are increasingly concerned about the cost of implementing environmental programmes, according to a survey released yesterday by environmental consultancy Entec UK and the Green Alliance, a green lobby group. According to the third annual survey undertaken by the two organisations, the proportion of large UK companies citing costs as a limiting factor when implementing environmental programmes rose from 58% in 1997 to 73% this year. The groups attribute the increase to a lack of awareness of business benefits of environmental action and by a lack of agreement on how to measure them. The study reports a "greater business awareness of the importance of environmental issues," with only 4% of companies saying their activities have no effect on the environment, compared with 8% in 1997. The study shows an increasing openness towards green taxes, with nine measures seen as having a positive effect on the environment, as opposed to two last year. Most respondents agreed that a proportion of revenues raised should be earmarked for environmental investment, or used to help industry adapt to new taxes. Enthusiasm for issuing annual environmental reports appears to be waning: 54% of respondents said they published regular environmental reports, down from 61% in 1997.

Follow Up:
Entec UK, tel: +44 171 278 8338; Green Alliance, tel: +44 171 836 0341.

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