3 February 2010
International consultancy, WYG, has been commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to carry out a project to increase the participation of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop and use environmental management systems (EMS).
The environmental experts will collect data from SMEs across a range of sectors on the financial and environmental benefits of formal EMS implementation. They will also look at the drivers for EMS uptake and the behavioural benefits.
An initial literature review will initiate the project looking at the last five years to capture existing research. This review will inform the selection of sectors and a statistically relevant sample of SME participants for the study.
Steve Piltz, WYG Sustainability Director, said: “This is an exciting project with Defra to gather concrete data on the financial and other benefits to SMEs from implementing certified environmental management systems like ISO 14001, BS 8555/Acorn and EMAS.
“We are inviting small firms with EMSs to become involved. Participating businesses will benefit from a no-cost site visit from one of our consultants who will draw up an accurate picture of the benefits of their EMS. The firms will be able use this information in their marketing and communications with customers and other stakeholders,” he added.
SMEs can contact WYG directly to get involved.
The consultants will use a quantitative and qualitative questionnaire to gather data and findings will be reported on a sectoral basis and by company size only.
The main output from the project will be evidence which can be used by all delivery bodies to convince SMEs of the business case for EMS implementation. This will help to increase the number of SMEs with an EMS, and unlock the latent environmental and financial savings which exist within the SME sector.