On Monday, June 27 Environment Minister Elliot Morley opened the consultation on Government’s latest set of performance indicators.

The indicators cover diverse areas such as greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water abstraction.

They have been mapped out for over 50 industries, identifying the most significant environmental impact of various activities and industrial processes.

At the launch Mr Morley tried to convince business it was in its interest to report back on its progress and this could even give it a competitive advantage.

“There is an increasing recognition that good environmental performance makes good business sense,” he said.

“The impact of environmental matters on business performance is increasing and will continue to do so.

“Interest in socially responsible investment is rocketing, a lot of people are investors in one form or another and more and more want to know where their money is going, the environmental practices it is sponsoring and how environmental risk and uncertainty is being managed.”

But despite the rhetoric, critics will still argue the indicators have no teeth as companies will not be obliged to report back on their findings, or indeed choose to ignore the indicators completely.

For those who do choose to comply, however, the guidelines outline how environmental impacts can be measured through Key Performance Indicators, slotting in easily with standard business data which directors would be expected to report on in any case.

By Sam Bond

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