Sunday, 23 August 2009

Scots firms fail to implement green regulations

Majority of firms surveyed have no plans to invest to reduce environmental impact
SMALL and medium-size businesses in Scotland are “in denial” about green rules, global warming and their impact on the environment, according to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).
Four out of 10 of the 7,000 firms surveyed by Sepa failed to recognise green regulations relevant to their businesses — a lower proportion of firms than the agency’s last survey recorded in 2007.
Just 7% of businesses acknowledged they undertook activities which harmed the environment; when respondents were probed the figure was six times higher at 46%.
Only 27% of respondents intended to invest to reduce their environmental impact. Despite government efforts to improve Scottish business’s green credentials through environmental management systems, the survey found that the number of organisations using them had fallen by three quarters.
Most respondents said an the systems were “no use” to their business, despite evidence that those with green credentials are more likely to win new business.
The proportion of small and medium enterprises acting to save energy and water, however, has doubled over the past two years, and 77% are today recycling waste, up from 58% in 2007. The figure still lags behind the UK average.
Claudette Hudes, of NetRegs, the government website that carried out the survey for Sepa, said: “This survey shows a level of denial. ” She suggested declining enthusiasm for green measures may be due to the recession.