Green Business: How Does Industry Stack Up?

UK - The Environment Agency has released its Greener Business report, outlining the impact of all the industrial sectors last year including agriculture.
calendar icon 25 November 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

The headline findings included a continued improvement in overall business performance, despite the current tough times. The number of serious pollution incidents has fallen by 30 per cent during the last five years - down from 600 incidents to just under 400 – and more than half of the sites regulated by the agency have now achieved the top ‘A’ rating.

Waste sites accounted for the most serious incidents of all the sectors in 2009 at 18.1 per cent.

In terms of agriculture, pollution incidents from the IPPC pig and poultry sectors were low – but farming as a whole still accounted for 13 per cent of the serious breaches.

The Environment Agency has developed a farm assurance scheme for pig and poultry producers and the intention is to double the numbers involved from 400 to 800 next year.

The agency dished out more than £5.6 million of fines in total in 2009 and has said it will be focusing its regulatory efforts on the poorest performing sectors. Those organisations that perform well will have fewer inspections – reducing the administrative burden and associated costs. You can find out more by clicking here.

NFU chief environment adviser Dr Diane Mitchell said: “Farming has worked hard to improve its environmental performance over the past few years and remains committed to building on these efforts.

“With almost 70 per cent of agricultural land in England now in some sort of managed agri-environment scheme agreement, widespread farmer activity is well supported.

“There are also many examples where the farming is taking a lead role to enhance and protect the environment and to ensure a long-term and sustainable farming industry. These include the Campaign for the Farmed Environment and the Tried & Tested nutrient management initiative.

“We very much welcome the agency’s commitment to double the number of farms that will benefit from the IPPC Farm Assurance Scheme. This is a good initiative that will reduce costs and administrative burdens, but also reward good performing and lower risk farmers.”

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