Sustainability suffers as downturn takes priority

15 January 2009

15 January 2009 | Paul Snell

More than half of firms are planning to cut back on their sustainability plans as the financial crisis deepens, according to a survey by the Environment Agency.

A poll of 1,000 companies found 55 per cent planned to cut back on investment in this area.

"It is vital businesses remain committed to best practice through this difficult economic period. While we appreciate the strains that company finances are under, the majority of efficiency measures actually reduce costs by reducing water and energy use," said Ian Barker, head of water resources at the agency.

A survey by SM at the start of November found two-thirds of buyers did not believe sustainability would fall in importance during the crisis (News, 13 November).

The study also found that only 10 per cent of businesses believe saving water is as important as energy efficiency when it comes to sustainability. In addition, only 15 per cent of businesses have a plan for water efficiency.

Envirowise, the government's eco-advisory body, believes UK businesses could save around £9 million a day in total by putting in water savings devices and fixing leaking taps.

Consultancy Arthur D Little warned supply chain managers needed to be more aware of water use in the future, as increased scarcity and demand increases prices will rise (Web news, 2 December 2008).

SMjan2009

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