18 June 2012
Carrot not stick for green policy say manufacturers
More carrot and less stick is essential to boosting the uptake of low-carbon manufacturing in the UK, site managers have ruled.
Penalties on carbon emissions were counterproductive and saddled UK factories with a competitive disadvantage the survey of 85 manufacturing managers found.
One respondent commented: "I feel the government should look harder at inentivisation rather than taxation as a way forward. Taxation is an easy way out proffered by a government that's bereft of good ideas."
The comments come ahead of government plans to introduce a £16 floor charge for every tonne of carbon dioxide emitted from 2013. The Carbon Floor Price proposals have been slammed by the Climate Change Select Committee as "perverse" and potentially "devastating" to British businesses.
Westminster had become fixated over meeting potentially counterproductive carbon cutting targets, survey respondents agreed. A respondent said: "This macho political drive to be world leaders instead of adopting a progressive strategy designed to minimise damage to the existing economy and maximise any benefits from environmental improvements will only make us first to suffer the most economic damage."
Another added: "Low carbon manufacturing is a good intention, but it has to be in the context of international- enforceable agreements."
Despite criticism over carbon taxes nearly half of respondents said penalties had helped businesses become more efficient.
Almost 30% said legislation had damaged international competitiveness. Improving profitability and operational efficiency was named the top driver for getting on-board with green.
One in ten factory managers expressed ideological support for fighting climate change as their main motivator. Factories also achieved drastic improvements recycling with almost 60% sending less than 10% of waste to landfill.
Don't miss more on sustainable manufacturing in WM's June Green issue special.
Department of Energy & Climate Change
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