UK industry spends £2.6 billion on environmental protection

UK industry spent an estimated £2.6 billion on environmental protection in 2002, according to a research report published by Defra this week.

The report records expenditure by extraction, manufacturing and energy supply industries in the UK, providing analyses by type, purpose and industry sector. The results do not include spending by environment industries such as waste management, or water and sewerage.

It found that the food, drink and tobacco sector was the highest spending with £495 million, followed by the power industries with £429 million, and the chemicals and chemical product sector with £410 million.

Operating expenditure accounted for 81% of the total while the remainder was made up of capital expenditure. About 35% of the total was spent on solid waste, with a further 30% spent on wastewater, and the remaining 35% spent on air, soil/groundwater, noise and nature protection.

This spending was offset by estimated income of £230 million from the sale of by-products and estimated cost savings of £300 million from environmental protection measures undertaken during the year.

Although the individual figures may sound extremely high, the total represents less than half of one per cent of total turnover of the industries concerned (0.4% of turnover) and an average of £700 per industry employee for the whole year.

Defra make it clear that these figures cannot be classified as National Statistics because of the low response rate to the survey.

By David Hopkins



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