NORWAY: Government departments trail behind private sector in ‘greening’ efforts
A survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) shows that the Norwegian public sector lags far behind large private companies in incorporating environmental concerns into day-to-day office activities.
Three years ago PWC’s Norwegian branch surveyed large private companies on their environmental progress. Now, PWC has turned its eye to the public sector in order to collect data and highlight the fact that its environmental policy and management services are available to the public sector as much as to private companies. “We did the survey on our own,” Halvor Jutulstad of PWC Norway told edie. “PWC has a global environmental group and it’s in our interest to know more.”
Gaps between private and public environment progress in Norway are evident when the two sectors are asked basic questions about environmental performance:
- 67% of public sector offices said that environmental questions have a high priority with the organisation’s leadership, compared with 81% of the private sector
- only 68% of the public sector had environmental policies in place, compared with 82% of the private sector
- concrete environmental objectives are used in only 21% of public sector offices, compared with 44% of private sector offices
- as a result of the public sector environmental objectives, 58% of the public sector admits to never following-up on environmental targets, while only 10% of the private sector fails to follow-up
- when ordering from suppliers 46% of public sector offices have environmental standards, compared with 68% of private sector offices
PWC’s Jutulstad points to the low level of public sector implementation of concrete environmental targets with deadlines and also the related issue of environmental standards for suppliers as particularly crucial. Despite slow progress in ‘greening’ their own offices, 62% of the public sector believes that environmental issues are being integrated into their products and services, including such things as national policy.
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