12 May 2008
The British Safety Council responds to survey results calling for more environmental guidance for businesses
In response to the increasing need for companies to 'go green' the British Safety Council (BSC) has launched its new, free online environmental assessment tool (www.britsafe.org/envtool). Research consistently shows that consumers are influenced in their purchasing decisions by a company's green credentials, and so a reduction in its environmental impact would do a great deal to enhance profitability.
Low commitment to the environment
Climate change will transform the way businesses operate. And it's a change that will happen globally. The new, low carbon economy offers huge opportunities. This year the BSC carried out a comprehensive survey of 1,000 UK employees' and 250 businesses leaders' attitudes concerning safety and environmental issues at work. The report reveals that two out of three employees in the UK think the companies they work for should be doing more to tackle climate change, with half their bosses admitting they are not doing enough.
Younger workers in particular believe their bosses are too slow taking action to protect the environment. Only two in five think their firm will actually take action on climate change in the next 12 months.
Time to act
Businesses must act now if the UK is to meet its carbon reduction target of 60% by 2050. Although recycling is now commonplace (83% of companies recycle), the BSC survey revealed:
· Only one in three firms has a nominated member of staff responsible for environmental performance (32%).
· Just one in four has an environmental management system.
· Less than one in five firms has carried out an external audit to help reduce their carbon footprint.
Now you can find out how green your company really is in just five minutes!
The new tool is designed as a quick and easy way for companies to benchmark their environmental impact. Taking only 10 minutes to complete, the online tool provides a quick rating to indicate the company's current position on compliance, pollution prevention and waste management so that it can make an informed decision on how to improve its environmental impact.
Apart from the corporate responsibility aspect, the business benefits of a proactive approach to all aspects of environmental management are significant. Financial savings can be made in terms of direct costs for raw materials, energy, water and waste savings as well as prevention of fines and remedial costs from breaches of legislation.
Brian Nimick, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council said; "We recognise that companies are being put under increasing pressure to 'go green' and reduce the impact that they are making on the environment and the climate. In response, we've developed this free, new tool specifically for them, to quickly and easily check their current performance against a range of environmental indicators and obtain guidance on areas for improvement, which the British Safety Council can provide. The better the knowledge they have about the gaps in their risk assessments, the better the action they can take. "
The new assessment tool is part of the BSC's aim to help organisations to achieve greater operational health, safety and environmental performance. The BSC already has a successful health and safety diagnostic tool which is aimed at SME's. Details can be found at www.britsafe.org/envtool