Email alerts will help SMEs keep up with eco-regs

There is a gaping hole in the knowledge of many small businesses when it comes to environmental law which affects them but a new tool has been launched to help them to keep abreast of developments.

Ever-evolving eco-legislation can prove daunting and confusing to SMEs which are not in a position to hire a dedicated environmental manager - indeed surveys repeatedly show most have hazy knowledge of their obligations at best.

The latest SMEnvironment survey reveals that a worryingly high 86% of small businesses could not name a single piece of environmental legislation.

It also found that almost half of those interviewed said they would like additional information and advice on environmental issues.

In an effort to get the facts out there, the Environment Agency's NetRegs website, set up to offer practical, sector specific advice, has launched a new service to make developments even more accessible.

Small businesses can now sign up for emails which will explain any changes they need to take account of and keep them up to date with wider developments.

"There are two separate thing businesses can sign up for," an EA spokesman told edie.

"There are the NetRegs updates which give two-monthly updates outlining what's new on the website and relevant to their particular business plus there is a news flash service which means that as new legislative information becomes available on the website they get an email to tell them about it."

Those signing up can create a tailor-made email by selecting subjects and categories likely to affect their own particular company, such as air and water emissions.

By ensuring that they comply with environmental legislation, small businesses can avoid the risk of prosecution and reap significant commercial benefits in terms of cost savings and improved customer relations.

According to the SMEnvironment survey, 62% of those surveyed agreed that complying with environmental legislation could help cut operating costs, while an even greater 74% felt that it could improve customer relations.

by Sam Bond



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