Danish SMEs "environmentally progressive"

Survey finds "surprising" level of greening, acceptance of need for legislation, green taxes

Environmental awareness amongst Danish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is "surprisingly high," the Danish Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises has reported. According to the federation, a first ever survey of SME environmental attitudes shows that one in seven has put in place formal - although not necessarily certified - environmental management systems, while one in five has set environmental targets. Some 40% of firms say they are aware of their environmental management issues. The need to stay in compliance with environmental legislation and supply-chain pressure are most often cited as the factors that motivate firms to put in place management systems. The federation says it is surprised by the progressive attitude of SMEs towards environmental legislation and taxes that the survey has revealed. Asked whether the government's environmental demands were reasonable, 60% felt they were. The findings suggest Danish SMEs accept that they have a duty to care about the environment, according to Hanne Moltke, head of information. But they also feel the government could do a lot more to plan further ahead and simplify the administration of legislation and taxes for companies. The carbon dioxide tax, in particular, is "much too complex," she said.

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