Listen up. What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate

Statistics often baffle me. When I hear facts quoted such as 70% of Institute of Directors (IoD) members feel they are "in the dark" when it comes to environmental regulation, I'm shocked. Either the Government, the regulators or the press (ourselves included, of course) aren't doing enough to disseminate messages effectively, or the members in question just aren't listening. Either way, there is no doubt that the wheels have well and truly fallen off of the wagon of communication.

On page 13, Geraint Day from the IoD vents his spleen about the apparent “darkness” his members find themselves in when it comes to regulatory affairs. According to a new report by the organisation, 59% of members representing the manufacturing industry ticked the “not much” box when asked how much they knew about regulation affecting their area of work. Frankly, it’s very worrying. No wonder the Government has dragged its heels on implementing new directives, despite the frustration of various interest groups

– it seems we just aren’t coping with the current legislation, let alone get our heads around new laws. The WEEE Directive has been delayed more times than the 8.10 from Maidstone to Charing Cross – but maybe it’s justified.

One man who might be able to put the brakes on this trend of ignorance for regulation is Richard Macrory. As Professor of Environmental Law at University College London, the Government has shrewdly coaxed him on board to lead a review of what is being called the “biggest regulatory reform package in the world.”

I caught up with Richard for this month’s EB Interview (page 18), and found it encouraging to hear of his enthusiasm for talking to both the industry and the public in a push to improve the UK’s regulatory regime. I’m certainly looking forward to his suggestions on the issue when he publishes his review in the autumn.

Meanwhile, as the awards season hits its peak in the world of culture (we’ve just had the Brits and the Baftas, and the Oscars will be upon us as you read this), we have decided to focus on environmental awards this month (see the cover feature on page 20). The European Business Awards for the Environment certainly provide Academy Award-level excitement for the 12 companies that have been acknowledged in one of the UK feeder awards schemes. They are now in the Champions League of environmental awards, and we wish them every success when the winners are announced in June.

And for all you practitioners, there is the ET Environmental Manager of the Year Award, supported by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). As a judge this year, I’d like to see as many of you as possible entering. Pay a visit to and download an application form. But don’t delay – the deadline for entries is Wednesday 22 March.



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