HL Deb 14 July 1994 vol 556 cc111-2WA
Lord Lyell

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What research the Energy Efficiency Office has carried out to explore top management attitudes to energy efficiency and the environment.

The Parliamentary Under-secretary of State, Department of the Environment (The Earl of Arran)

A report outlining the findings of research carried out among a sample of firms with more than 200 employees over the past three years has been published by HMSO today. Copies have been placed in Library of the House.

The findings show improvements in top management attitudes to and practices on energy efficiency and the environment. The proportion of firms with an environmental policy has increased steadily over the period from 46 per cent. to 58 per cent. and those with an energy policy from 34 per cent. to 46 per cent. Yet much remains to be done if the Rio target of returning CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 is to be met.

We welcome particularly the findings which show that organisations which have joined the Making a Corporate Commitment campaign are leading the way in contributing to the CO2 Partnership for which we have called. Campaign signatories agree to give board level commitment to energy management, to reassess their energy efficiency strategy and to set performance improvement targets. The findings show that they are making good progress. For example:

—63 per cent. have already set energy targets compared to 37 per cent. in business generally; while

—85 per cent. have actual plans to implement energy efficiency measures in the next 12 months. The corresponding figure for business at large is only 52 per cent.

We urge all organisations to increase the priority they give to energy management and follow the lead of campaign signatories. Such action provides the ideal contribution to the CO2 Partnership. The benefits to business are increased profits. The benefits for us all are a better environment, since energy efficiency is the quickest and most cost-effective response to the threat of global warming.