A new report released by leading independent standards company BSI Group Australia and New Zealand reveals that the government and services sector is substantially lagging behind manufacturing in the provision of many sustainability practices.
The report, ‘Corporate Environmental & Sustainability Governance Survey for 2013’ released by BSI incorporating NCSI is based on responses from 19 different industry sectors, including heavy industrial, food, resources, construction, the government and the service industry, with manufacturing representing more than 50% of the respondents.
According to the biannual survey, 100% of manufacturers indicated they have environmental and sustainability policies in place, and also conducted energy audits, and implemented energy efficient processes.
Significantly, only 69% of government services organisations undertook energy audits, and just 85% have energy and sustainability policies, while 82% implemented energy efficient processes in 2012.
Nick Koukoulas, Managing Director of BSI incorporating NCSI explains that there are exceptions to these findings, with government and services performing more robustly than manufacturing in the delivery of environmental procurement policies (73% against 43%) and sustainability reporting (79% against 63%).
According to Mr Koukoulas, given the greater energy consumption of manufacturers, it is not entirely unexpected they have all undertaken energy audits and implemented energy efficient processes. However this doesn’t excuse the government and services sector from addressing issues of environmental and sustainability governance. He also found the gap to manufacturing quite surprising in light of the current level of political debate about the environment.
Highlights of the report
An increasing number of respondents are measuring their carbon emissions, an increase of 10% to 76% over the last survey. Regulatory compliance for the environment and improving energy efficiency are the most important sustainability drivers for the next three years.
Sustainability roles are well established with nearly 90% of organisations having a dedicated environmental team. Similarly, executive accountability for environmental and sustainability outcomes is in place with over 80% of respondents.
Compared to results from the 2011 survey, the 2013 survey saw a considerable increase in the respondents with targets for their carbon emissions, up from 40% to almost 60%. Likewise the number of organisations measuring carbon emissions increased from 65% to 75%.
The number of respondents with environmental procurement policies increased from 45% to almost 60%. There was also an increase in the number of organisations with dedicated environmental teams, from 75% to almost 90%.