Environmentalism not seen as ‘core’ to businesses

Resource efficiency is still a distraction from the core purpose of business, according to a new report published by the Sustainable Development Research Network (SDRN).

SDRN, a policy studies institute funded by Defra and the Department of Transport, published the findings today (1 October).

In its report calls for more ‘engagement’ with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) on resource efficiency and to get them to lower the C02 emissions.

And suggests intermediary organisations, such as banks, need to promote the agenda further.

The report is based on a programme of work undertaken on behalf of SDRN by AEA Technology.

It looked at what is needed to improve the operating effectiveness of businesses in the UK and culminated in a research workshop earlier this year.

A mix of policy makers and academics and the corporate sector attended the event, providing a diverse range of opinions on the issues that were discussed.

SDRN’s senior research fellow, Kate McGeevor, said: “In the current financial climate, resource efficiency presents a win-win situation for businesses, offering an opportunity to save money, improve efficiency and help protect the environment.

“Although support programmes have been successful at reaching large businesses, many businesses are still not engaged with resource efficiency – often because they see themselves as being too small to benefit.

“SMEs account for almost 99% of all enterprises in the UK so it is absolutely vital for resource efficiency support programmes to reach these organisations.”

The full report will be available from 1 October on the SDRN website.

Luke Walsh

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