No ‘green sheen’ on the blue chip: FTSE 250 take environmental responsibilities seriously

Press release - 14 October 2008

We’ve all heard of the ‘greenwash’ or ‘green sheen’ but a new survey of the FTSE 250 by BSI British Standards reveals a genuine and significant commitment to environmental issues among British business. 81% of those surveyed have implemented an environmental management system such as ISO 14001 – an increase of 10% from 2006.

To mark World Standards Day 2008, BSI British Standards, the UK’s national standards body, surveyed 100 of the FTSE 250 on their attitudes to environmental management.

95% of those surveyed, compared with 84% in 2006, believed that their company’s environmental performance had improved over the last ten years, demonstrating that businesses recognize their responsibilities and are acting on them.

35% of companies surveyed identified rising energy costs as the single biggest environmental concern for their business while one quarter were most interested in reducing their carbon emissions.

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards, said, “Most people now accept that everyone must take action on the environment and it’s clear that there is recognition of the business and social benefits of going green in the boardroom. I hope that businesses of any size or sector will also see the relevance of an environmental system for their operations. The challenge is to use specific standards to measure the impact and reduce costs.”

As well as environmental management systems such as ISO 14001, which help monitor and improve environmental performance, BSI continues to develop a wide range of sustainability and environmental products:

  • BSI will soon launch PAS 2050 Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services. Developed with Defra and the Carbon trust, PAS 2050 aims to provide a single agreed methodology for measuring the greenhouse gas emissions for goods and services across their entire life cycle. 
  • PAS 2020 A standard for reducing the environmental impact of direct marketing is due to be published later this year. 
  • BS 8901 Specification for a sustainable event management system with guidance for use was published in November 2007.

About World Standards Day
World Standards Day takes place on 14 October every year and is an international celebration of the national and international standards which facilitate trade, spread knowledge and disseminate technical advances. 2008 is the 39th World Standards Day.

About BSI Group
BSI British Standards is part of BSI Group, a global independent business services organization that inspires confidence and delivers assurance to customers with standards-based solutions. Originating as the world’s first national standards body, the Group has over 2,300 staff operating in over 120 countries through more than 50 global offices. The Group’s key offerings are:

  • The development and sale of private, national and international standards and supporting information
  • Second and third-party management systems assessment and certification
  • Product testing and certification of services and products
  • Performance management software solutions
  • Training services in support of standards implementation and business best practice.

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