Major firms urge government to focus on environment

More than 50 businesses have called on the government to focus policy decisions around the environment. Firms including Skanska, Heathrow, Thames Water and Carillion attended a meeting set up by the Institute […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

More than 50 businesses have called on the government to focus policy decisions around the environment.

Firms including Skanska, Heathrow, Thames Water and Carillion attended a meeting set up by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Natural Capital Coalition and the WWF.

The companies discussed the implications and opportunities presented by the government’s expected 25-Year Environment Plan and the recently announced Industrial Strategy.

They said these frameworks need to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reverse environmental decline and leverage market forces.

The businesses agreed low carbon growth will be essential for delivering the UK’s international commitments to the Paris Agreement and maximising the potential to build a world-leading low carbon economy in the UK.

They said achieving the SDGs will create jobs, increase competitiveness and ensure resilience in a future world of growing resource and carbon constraints.

Other companies joining the call include Anglian Water, Quorn Foods, Network Rail and St Luke’s Hospice.

Tanya Steele, Chief Executive for WWF, said: “The government’s 25-Year Environment Plan and its recently announced Industrial Strategy provide us with a unique opportunity to formally value natural capital within UK policy.

“We are pleased today that business joined us to stand up for change and play their part to help transform our world and deliver a future in which people and nature thrive.”