UK consultation on general guidelines for environmenal reporting

Source: Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, UK, 9 May 2001

The UK Prime Minister has challenged all businesses in the FTSE top 350 to report on their environmental performance by the end of 2001. The Government also strongly encourages other businesses and public sector organisations to do likewise.
To help organisations achieve this we have prepared draft guidelines on environmental reporting, and would like to invite comments by 25 June 2001. The draft Guidelines have been sent to the Chairmen of FTSE 350 companies and others.

The draft Guidelines are particularly aimed at organisations new to reporting, although they may also be of use to more experienced reporters. Together with the specific guidelines we have issued on greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water use we hope they will help organisations measure, manage and report on their main environmental impacts.

The draft Guidelines spell out in detail the main elements we would expect to see in environmental reports. In particular they include a few key environmental performance indicators that we would expect all large organisations to be able to report against. The draft also sets out how organisations new to reporting can adopt an incremental approach to full reporting, and suggests ways in which organisations can encourage better environmental performance from their suppliers.

The Guidelines do not seek to compete with other initiatives in this area, for instance the Global Reporting Initiative. What they do is identify the common themes at the heart of other guidance, and provide a simple guide to the basics – `good practice’ rather than `best practice’. Companies can progress towards best practice in time, but having a stepping stone may make the experience more manageable.

The draft Guidelines have been prepared in consultation with a number of businesses and experts. We encourage all large UK organisations to put these guidelines into practice even while we are continuing to refine and improve them.

The guidelines