"We're backing a winner" - Lord and Minister on EIC

Supporting the Environmental Industries Commission in its promotion of the argument that high environmental standards are good for business is a win-win situation, according to a Defra Minister and a Lord with close ties to industry.

Speaking at the EIC's annual reception at the House of Lords on Thursday, both Environment Minister Ian Pearson and Lord Haskel heaped praise on the trade association.

"I don't want to sound complacent, but for those of us who have been supporting the EIC for a number of years, I think we can really start to feel we are backing in winner," said Lord Haskel.

He added that with more than ten years' experience under its belt, the EIC had been very early in putting forward the business case for environmental technology and it was a case that was now as good as won.

High environmental standards in business were now top of the political agenda in both the UK and Brussels, he said, and sustainability had become a top priority.

"Over the past 50 years a desire for peace and economic growth have been the driving force behind the European Union," he said.

Protection of the environment, he said, was likely to join those two goals as a third driver for the next 50 years, he observed.

Minister Pearson said the UK Government was also keen to see growth in the environment sector and that EIC members would play a key role in the delivery of a new contract between politicians, business and the public which would see everyone accepting their responsibility towards the environment.

The EIC also used the event to launch a new partnership with city financiers AngelBourse, who plan to find investors to back environmental enterprises wanting to expand.

The capital will be raised by finding backers in the city as well as AngelBourse dipping into its own coffers.

Guy Saxton, managing director of AngelBourse, told edie the Gateway to Global Investors partnership with the EIC would help companies realise their potential.

"We believe the market's mis-priced environmental technology because in most areas of investment it's difficult to predict the future," he said.

But environmental technologies were very likely to go from strength to strength as rising oil prices continued to effect the energy market and legislation and regulations continued to give more and more protection to the environment - meaning a competitive edge for clean tech.

"I can't tell you which stocks to buy," he said.

"But what I can tell you is if you buy the sector, the sector will go up in value."

Sam Bond



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