Thursday, June 30, 2005

The unreadable in pursuit of the unreachable?

I hope Oscar Wilde will forgive the slight, adjusted plagiarism. And the newspaper in whose online small business mailing I just read that Government has issued a guide for all private companies to explain the benefits of voluntarily reporting their impact on the environment. It was headlined: “Green message 'goes straight to the bottom line'”. I rather fear that it may have been more appropriate to draw the line at, well, that word ‘line’. Because reading on I was not best encouraged. Elliot Morley, Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, is quoted as saying environmental reporting should not be seen as an extra burden for smaller companies, but rather that it made "good business sense", adding, "I can understand why businesses might feel it will add some extra paperwork, but these measures are not onerous." Fortunately for those not inspired to do some extra paperwork, the code is voluntary. As a spokesperson for the Forum for Private Business, which represents small and medium-sized businesses, has suggested (and, one presumes, not supportively, as claimed of Trade Bodies UK-wide for this measure),”Small retailers have enough paperwork to get through without having to read yet another code or guide”.

It seems most businesses will have to register their premises with the Environment Agency and have discussions with landfill contractors before disposing of items. Defra said some businesses would be exempt. So far, so precise.

Now, here's thing. This seemed like a NOBAD (NOT OBVIOUSLY BAD DEVELOPMENT. Future Warning: I like my acronyms). So I read this article, but came away really none the wiser on what I was and was not supposed to do, or could do if I felt so disposed. Like get this guide. So I went to the links on the piece to FPB and Defra. Now if there was anything in there to help I was damned if I could find it. So on balance, the only outcome so far has been nothing (except today's blog). But it’s is obvious that I am a bit more than most interested than most in this whole area! I can only imagine the yawning.. er.. yawn that will have overcome the rest of the business community if they mustered the slightest urge to delve. fully endorses the notion of any Green message going straight to the bottom line, so long as it is end-benefit, reward based… because in so doing it stands a slim chance of being embraced. I just wonder what exactly this little effort achieved. Meetings were doubtless held. Reports were drafted. Maybe they even got printed. Possibly stored and dispatched if requested. Targets will, for sure, be met. But will there be a real result? So if anyone can locate this report online or as a PDF, let me know the URL and we'll stick it on But first I'll need to read the thing, to see if I can hopefully find the stuff to introduce it on our pages in terms that might motivate some people. That way they may try and work with it because they can see why it's worth it to them, so they’ll want to. Wish me luck.