Although organisations such as Rolls Royce, George Wimpey and the Smiths Group use an EMS, other influential players have been called on to set an example to the smaller firms.
Implementation could enhance environmental performance and corporate reputations, meet customer demand and improve the bottom line, but 29% of those questioned in a new FTSE 250 survey from the British Standards Institution (BSI) do not have a scheme in place.
This is despite 70% of companies being concerned about the rising cost of energy, nearly half (45%) worrying about waste management and a third (30%) having concerns about carbon emissions.
BSI director Mike Low said: We all know time is running out to take action on the environment. Its encouraging to see that companies recognise the social and business benefits of going green but weve clearly still got some way to go.
A massive 94% said that they could improve their environmental performance and this was reflected in the fact that 48% of companies currently require suppliers to meet environmental standards while 70% expect them to do so in the next 10 years.
Responding to the research, Envirowise marketing campaigns manager Elaine Sharp said: It is interesting to see that 29% of the FTSE 250 companies surveyed still do not have an EMS in place and these companies will undoubtedly be facing rising pressure from customers and shareholders to demonstrate a commitment to resource efficiency.
In similar research carried out by Envirowise, 50% of more than 750 small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) surveyed had already established an environmental policy and three quarters stated that waste minimisation was important to them.
Sharp added: When you consider the cost saving potential of taking systematic action on waste it is no surprise that SMEs are starting to embrace resource efficiency as part of their ongoing business strategy.
We would like to see more of the most influential firms in the FTSE 250 following suit, so that the remaining 29% quickly becomes 0%. Leadership from the countrys top level decision makers in this area is crucial.