Today, we launch the start of our Climate and Environment Campaign. This campaign is about getting policy makers to reconcile the diverging growth and environmental agendas so that the UK can place itself at the centre of a low carbon economy.
As part of the kick start, we have published some very interesting findings from a recent survey.
This executive survey of 76 senior manufacturing executives provides a focused look at current attitudes and concerns regarding climate change and environmental policy in the UK.
At a time when we are challenging government on their ambition to have both a sustainable and growing economy, we show that currently, government policies to meet these objectives are conflicting and causing unintended consequences.
While seeking to increase investment in the UK and make the leader in producing low carbon technologies, 75 per cent of our respondents feel climate and environment policies at the moment will damage UK competitiveness.
UK manufacturing is at the heart of the shift to a ‘green’ economy. We need support from government to ensure this happens.
Manufacturers are already taking steps to reducing the environmental impacts of their production; 80 per cent of companies have invested in energy, resource or waste efficiency. And they want to go further than just complying with regulation; they want to be part of this emerging ‘green’ economy, with 22 per cent using the green credentials of their products as their unique selling point on the market.
However, the policies in place at the moment are having the opposite effect by raising the cost of being green – 75 per cent have experience an increase in environmental policy costs in the past two years. However, this is increased cost has had little effect on emissions reductions. In fact, there is no tangible link between high energy prices and a subsequent reduction in energy use.
This makes the UK an unattractive place to invest, 50 per cent of our respondents believe there are better investment opportunities for efficiency and low-carbon technologies abroad. Surprisingly, considering another goal of government is to support medium-sized firms, it is these companies that are feeling the effects of poorly-designed policies that pull them in different directions, but ultimately raise their costs to unreasonable level; 95 per cent has seen a cost increase compared to only 82 per cent of large firms and 52 per cent small firms.
Making the UK an unattractive place to do business and to invest will drive innovation and skills to other countries. You can download the full survey report here.