In recent years, one increasingly popular way for companies to show green credentials has been through the environmental audit - a snapshot of the way the company affects the environment in terms of its physical products, its emissions and its energy consumption. According to consultants KPMG, 79 out of the FTSE-100 companies now produce reports on their environmental practices. But, beyond their obvious PR value, how useful are environmental audits to the companies themselves?
KPMG itself points to several business benefits, among them the ability to demonstrate progress in environmental management to stakeholders, a stronger internal commitment to improved environmental performance, identifying areas where management systems need to be strengthened and increased employee awareness of the environmental policies of the company.
Two companies in KPMG's survey, BAA and National Power, also found that environmental reporting had contributed directly to new business opportunities.