The need to monitor and raise environmental standards has driven the growth of various certification schemes internationally. Many are quite sector specific, associated with the use of hazardous materials such as asbestos, flammable, toxic, corrosive or radioactive materials. Other standards seek to protect standards of production of products for human use such as medicine or food.

In the investment community there has been long interest and growing regulation in measurement and reporting of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or ESG: Environmental Social and Governance. Some of these scoring and assessment methods are quite subjective, some are controversial, leading to the accusation of “greenwash.”

Voluntary standards have also been widely introduced to address various environmental and social issues, Fairtrade being one of the better known. More recently legislation has been introduced requiring large or listed companies to report on their emissions. In the UK these are the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regulations 2018, which mandates large reporting by large companies.

Many large companies have embraced these certification systems and standards. These are now being leveraged to provide commercial advantage in marketing to increasingly environmentally aware consumers. In their own supply chains. larger businesses or government buyers are also more likely to favour suppliers that can provide evidence of environmental management and progress.

Our consultancy services seek to support micro, small and medium sized businesses, to improve their environmental knowledge and performance to ensure that they can compete with better resourced, if not necessarily greener competition. We can provide basic advice or signpost guidance as part of our offer, or undertake bespoke projects for clients. The accompanying notes outline our suggested approach for micro, small and medium sized businesses.