UK business leaders believe regulation brings environmental benefits

A survey conducted by the Institute of Directors (IoD) shows that many business leaders believe that environmental regulations bring 'actual' environmental benefits, but there is concern regarding the financial cost of complying.

A questionnaire on directors’ attitudes to environmental legislation, and packaging waste rules in particular, was included in an edition of IoD’s policy magazine. 81% of respondents agreed that the environment accrues benefits from environmental regulation, but respondents were split on the issue of whether there are too many or just enough regulations: 39% thought there are already too many environmental regulations, compared to 34% who thought that the current number is about right.

On the question of the financial cost of complying with environmental legislation, respondents were also split. 44% of respondents believed that their firms suffered or suffered a lot, while 32% said their firms benefited to some extent.

“Environmental legislation is increasingly becoming an issue,” Geraint Day of IoD’s policy unit told edie. “And focusing on packaging waste, it is clear that compliance can be very confusing for businesses.”

The questionnaire also sought to discover where businesses go when they need information or advice on environmental regulations. The top ports of call were, in order:

  • local councils
  • Environment Agency for England & Wales
  • trade associations
  • private sector firms

IoD plans further work on environmental legislation, including practical advice to businesses on compliance. “There’s a realisation that more practical knowledge is needed in this area,” says Day.

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