Regulation halves industrial GHG emissions

28th October 2019

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • England ,
  • Environment Agency


Samantha McDonald

Industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from businesses regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) have halved in England over the last decade, research has found.

In a report published last Friday, the EA also revealed that compliance rates for energy efficiency and emissions trading schemes are now above 98% for all businesses holding environmental permits.

Nine in 10 operators are demonstrating “good compliance“ with their environmental responsibilities, according to the report, and a record 72% of waste from permitted activites was recovered in 2018, up from 59% in 2008.

Moreover, the EA said that 98% of bathing waters passed minimum quality standards last year, compared to 91% a decade ago.

Our regulation is supporting a healthier environment and safer communities, Environment Agency deputy director, Gillian Pratt, said.

The majority of businesses we regulate are well run, but all businesses must make improvements to ensure their operations help protect the environment and local communities.

The report gives an overview of the regulatory performance of all businesses with environmental permits in England, and outlines the effectiveness of the EA's rules.

Despite good progress around emissions, waste and bathing water, the report reveals that there were 533 serious pollution incidents in 2018, a 27% increase from the previous year.

The EA also found that 86% of river water bodies had not reached good ecological status in 2016, while only 53% of groundwater bodies achieved good chemical status.

There were 896 new illegal waste sites undercutting legitimate businesses discovered in 2018, with 912 closed down by the EA, a 12% increase on the previous year.

In total, the prosecutions brought by the EA resulted in almost £2.8m of fines for environmental offences last year.

“Waste crime continues to blight communities, cause environmental harm, and undercut legitimate business,“ Pratt said. “Businesses need to do more to manage their risks and reduce pollution incidents.“

Image credit: ©iStock


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