UK companies spending more on the environment

UK businesses are spending more on integrated environmental protection measures, according to a government report. The latest survey of 6,800 production companies reveals that the industry spent an estimated £4.2 billion on environmental protection during 2000.

The Department of Environment report, Environmental Protection Expenditure by Industry 2000, found that extraction, manufacturing and energy supply industries collectively spent 0.7% of total turnover on the environment, approximately £1000 per industry employee.

The biggest spenders included chemical, food and tobacco manufacturers and the mining and power industries. Three quarters of the money went towards solid waste, water and air protection, the latter accounting for almost half of all capital expenditure. The remainder was divided between conservation, soil and noise projects and consultancy fees.

Compared to 1997, more money was spent on hiring outside help than using in-house services, and there was a marked increase in capital expenditure on ‘integrated’ processes rather than ‘end-of-pipe’ (see related story), the former rising to £0.8 billion while the latter dropped to £0.6 billion.

The savings resulting from environmental protection measures were estimated at £0.4 billion in 2000, roughly 10% of total environmental expenditure and similar to 1999. Spending is marginally up from the previous year, by £0.1 million.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie