Manufacturers not feeling benefits of regulatory reform

26th August 2015


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Manufacturing ,
  • Business & Industry ,
  • Corporate governance ,
  • Auditing ,
  • Management

Author

IEMA

Manufacturers' body EEF wants bolder environmental legislation reform after it found that just 25% of members believe efforts so far had the right focus.

Seven in 10 manufacturers surveyed by EEF said cutting back on green legislation is important to their business, but less than one in 10 said changes made by the government to reduce regulatory “burdens” had saved them time (7%) or money (9%), according to a report by the organisation.

More than 25% of respondents said reforms had made the situation even more confusing. The environment department (Defra) has so far focused on reducing administration related to regulation and cutting the volume of guidance.

But many businesses told EEF that cutting guidance is not necessarily a good thing since it can be key in helping them interpret the law correctly. Although businesses generally believe the guidance could be simpler, consolidated or better worded, most businesses recognise that good quality information needs to cover a wide range of sectors and activities, EEF said.

Better guidance remains a priority for 78% of manufacturers, while 56% want better data reporting, the poll revealed. Companies operating in the chemical and metal sectors are particularly vocal on the need for improvements.

All guidance should be on the gov.uk website with a single source on each environmental theme, such as waste, water, air, climate change and energy efficiency, while all environmental data should be reported into one system and one body, EEF said.

Defra has also considered the scope for reforming legislation, which is supported by over 70% of manufacturers. So far, the environment department has identified 28 “opportunities” that could benefit manufacturers. Of these, 42% involve merely tidying up the statute book, removing obsolete regulation and consolidating legislation into one law, EEF said.

Manufacturers want Defra to go further and reform the existing stock of legislation, with 75% of respondents saying that reform of climate and environment policy was important or very important to their business.

EEF recommends the creation of a single framework act with individual annexes detailing minimum requirements in specific areas such as waste and water. The trade body says a suite of indicators should accompany the framework act, so that achievements can be seen and communicated, and support mechanisms, such as fiscal incentives and innovation standards, established.

The focus of Defra’s regulatory reform has been almost exclusively at the domestic level whereas the majority of new regulation comes from Brussels, EEF noted. This is the reason why more than a third of respondents believe that most of the department’s efforts have been largely ineffective, it added.

Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF, said: “Our report shows that manufacturers remain committed to addressing environmental and climate concerns, but are still having to wade through unnecessary levels of complexity and red tape in order to do so, which in too many cases is holding them back.”

A spokesperson for Defra said the department's work to cut red tape is focused on reducing the unnecessary bureaucracy on businesses, while minimising the effect on the environment. "Reforms made over the past five years will save businesses around £300 million a year in reduced regulatory costs and cut the number of regulations in force by more than 20%," he said.

The EEF’s findings are echoed in a recent white paper from BSRIA, which represents the building services and facilities sector. It says BSRIA members support the creation of clear and uncomplicated legislation, but that many believe there are too many government departments dictating policy, which sometimes resulted in conflicting requirements.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

SBTi clarifies that ‘no change has been made’ to its stance on offsetting

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd April 2024

Read more

Around 20% of the plastic recycled is polypropylene, but the diversity of products it protects has prevented safe reprocessing back into food packaging. Until now. David Burrows reports

3rd April 2024

Read more

IEMA presents a digital campaign to share knowledge and inspire action in sustainability

2nd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close