Figures published by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), showed that, in July, more than 6,000 companies had an ISO 14001 certificate, the international standard for environmental management systems (EMS).

This is a rise of more than 15% on the number of certificates active in the country in January.

More than 200 organisations have also achieved accreditation through IEMA’s own Acorn Scheme, which was launched in 2005 and recognises companies phasing in EMS.

More than 100 organisations were inspected under the Acorn Scheme in the first six months of this year.

Expert say the trend indicates a growing demand for environmental management and a greater awareness of environmental issues within the UK business sector.

Catherine Golds, environmental and health and safety business sector manager, oversees the EMS certification at National Quality Assurance.

She said: “The environment is a hot topic.

“Each day, news of how the environment is affected by human activities is being broadcasted and printed.

“Organisations across the UK are really recognising this and tackling their environmental performance through the use of an EMS and this is clearly reflected in the growth of ISO 14001 and the IEMA Acorn scheme.”

Kate Martin

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