UK businesses behind on carbon footprints

02 January 2008

A survey of business leaders by the Carbon Trust found just 1% of all UK firms knew their “carbon footprint”.

Calculating this, the Trust said, was a vital step towards cutting a firm’s emissions and exploiting the business opportunities from climate change.

A quarter of firms said they were affected by climate change, with larger firms more likely to be impacted.

The Trust, a government-sponsored rganization set up to help promote the move to a low-carbon economy, said the growing awareness of global environmental threats was partly due to this summer’s severe flooding in many parts of the country.

While the Trust said it was “encouraging” that more firms had started to address the issue of their own emissions in the past two years, too many were simply not aware of their position.

Publicly-listed companies were much more likely to have measured their emissions than privately-owned and medium-sized business, it found.

“The picture is mixed as businesses are still yet to move in some key areas,” said Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust.

“By measuring and assessing a business’s impact through undertaking a carbon footprinting exercise, a company can better understand where carbon reductions can be made and cost savings achieved.”

Other findings from the report include:

  • 27% of firms see climate change as an opportunity
  • 32% have a plan in place to cut emissions
  • Nearly 90% of decision makers oppose carbon offsetting
  • Over a third of firms would consider putting carbon labels on products


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