9th environment index challenges top companies to benchmark

Source: Business in the Community, 14 September 2004

9th environment index challenges top companies to benchmark environmental engagement.
The Environment Index remains the leading indicator of corporate
environmental engagement. It is a well-established business management
tool, developed to support companies in improving their impact on the
environment. It provides a systematic approach to managing, measuring
and reporting a company’s environmental performance. Moreover, it
provides a useful tool to engage board members, and helps businesses
conduct a detailed gap analysis on their performance compared with their

The Operating and Financial Review (OFR) will represent an important
development in company reporting among the most economically significant
companies in the UK. The Environment Index can help companies identify
the environmental issues that are most material to the business, an
important step in meeting the OFR’s requirements.

Jim Haywood, Director, Business in the Environment comments:
"The business case for proactively measuring and managing a company’s
environmental impact remains as strong as ever. The way a company
responds to risks, such as climate change, can have a material effect on
its long-term profitability. Using energy and natural resources
sustainably, while also minimising waste, can bring direct benefits to
the bottom line. The Environment Index provides a framework to help
companies address these issues, while enabling us to work with the
business community to identify and share best practice."

By providing credible, independent and comparable information to
companies and their stakeholders, the Index aims to help with data
consolidation and the reduction of ‘survey fatigue’ which is rightly
concerning the business community. The entire Environment survey is
integrated within BITC’s broader CR Index. Therefore, companies that
choose to complete the CR Index are automatically eligible to receive a
separate ranking on the Environment Index without having to complete a
separate survey.

Since last year, there have been a number of significant developments
to streamline and improve the process. We have worked with the FTSE
Group to align our respective requirements for environmental information
from companies. We have also been involved with the London Stock
Exchange to ensure that their new online platform for corporate
responsibility information and disclosure can be used as an alternative
means to complete the Business in the Community Indices.

In addition to administering the annual Environment Index, Business in
the Community’s Environment Team offers companies several
opportunities to network and share best practice. Sustainable
Procurement Training sessions are offered quarterly to companies
interested in developing a sustainable supplier programme. The new
Beacon Network, which will be launched in November 2004, will give
companies the opportunity to learn about the activities that leading
companies are undertaking with respect to key environmental issues.

The results of the 3rd Corporate Responsibility Index will be published
in the Companies that Count supplement of The Sunday Times on 20th March
2004. The supplement will include a focus on environmental issues, with
information drawn from the Environment Index. Subsequently, the results
will be presented at a reception for senior business leaders and a
one-day conference for corporate responsibility practitioners.

Copies of Benchmarking Responsible Business Practice, the report
containing results of both the 8th Environment Index and the 2nd
Corporate Responsibility Index, are available from Business in the
Community at bie@bitc.org.uk or +44 (0)20 7566 6628.

Media enquiries to Daianna Rincones, Events and Communications
(Direct line: +44 (0)20 7566 6628)

Notes for Editors
1. FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, other international companies
listed as sector leaders in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and
national members of Business in the Community are invited to complete
the on-line questionnaire

2. Business in the Community is a unique movement in the UK of over 800
member companies. Our purpose is to inspire, challenge, engage and
support business in continually improving its positive impact on
Together, our member companies employ over 15.7 million people across
200 countries. In the UK, our members employ over 1 in 5 of the private
sector workforce.

Membership of Business in the Community is a commitment to action and
to the continual improvement of the company’s impact on society. Our
members commit to:
– Integrate responsible business practice throughout their business
– Impact through collaborative action to tackle disadvantage
– Inspire, innovate and lead by sharing learning and experience.