UK businesses could save almost £6 billion each year if they were environmentally friendly a new report from the heads of all European environmental protection agencies has found.
Waste minimisation alone could save UK manufacturers £3 billion.
Environment Agency chief executive Barbara Young said: “This new analysis shows that businesses and industries with environmentally-friendly practices are prospering and making savings. It is solid evidence that effective environmental regulation can drive innovation, it can foster new markets and reduce business risks.”
Countries with good, well-designed environmental regulation are the best countries to do business in.”
The Europe-wide research found that industry could save £1.8 billion through energy efficiency and agriculture could save £1 billion through improved environmental management practices.
It also found that in England an estimated 2.68 million jobs are supported by the management of the environment.
The European environmental protection agencies found that good environmental regulation reduces business risk and increases investment market and insurer confidence, assists competitive advantage and creates competitive markets, drives innovations and creates markets for environmental goods and services.
Young added: “The challenge is to ensure regulations focus on environmental outcomes, that regulations focus on the highest environmental risks, and are proportionately implemented in ways which reduce administrative burdens, rather than to have a bonfire of regulations.”