Cutting £1billion of Green Tape

The Government wants to make environmental regulations for businesses easier to access and easier to understand 


Are you a business which has an impact on the environment? What are you required to do? How much will it cost you?

In light of growing resource constraints and ‘corporate responsibility’ there’s a good chance that some form of environmental regulation will be relevant to your business.

The problem is: how do you check? What’s the go-to website?

At the moment information is scattered around a variety of different sources.

For example, The Environment Agency produces more than 90% of all guidance relating to carbon reduction and Environmental Permitting, the costs due when discharging water back to the environment and disposing of certain hazardous waste.

Natural England, however, produces more than 80% of guidance relating to wildlife management  and the countryside.

‘All under one roof’

Now the Government wants to pull all of this this information together and publish it on a new definitive website. 

This could reduce time spent on compliance by 80% and save the economy £1 billion over the next 10 years

That’s quite a sum, and it would be interesting to know exactly where that figure came from. Nevertheless, it demonstrates that there is great financial potential in helping businesses report their environmental performance.

The initiative has already received support from the Federation of Small Businesses, which argued that the changes will make it easier and cheaper for businesses to embrace environmental best practices.

The Government has made assurances that this is about how the information is presented, although there’s always a risk that it will be used as an excuse to water down certain environmental regulations.

After all, the “economic growth at any cost” line has been used before.

Sound familiar? 

Driving regulatory reform has been a long-running theme in DEFRA. 

In December 2009 it released its  Simplification Plan - ‘Simplifying the Business Environment: Driving Burdens Down’ – which was followed by the Better Regulation Programme in September 2010. 

One of the issues which this new consultation should highlight is the lack of a universal tool that all businesses can use to report their environmental data.

This is where a freely accessible, easy-to-use site like has huge potential.

Every business has its own profile which enables key environmental information to be inputted and made publicly available in the space minutes. 

The Government is keen to hear from all businesses on this matter. Click here to have your say. 

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