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News - 23 May 2008

Finance has the smallest footprint

New research published by Base business forum indicates that the financial services sector has the smallest carbon footprint.

The research analysed the individual carbon footprint of workers in different sectors and how much revenue each sector generates per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions.

The analysis of government statistics published by the Base business forum shows that the banking, finance and insurance sectors have the smallest environmental impact per pound of wealth generated in the UK.

Each worker in the sector is responsible for 1.2 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year with the sector creating £47,688 of wealth per tonne emitted.

Workers in the construction industry and energy sector, on the other hand, are responsible for 8.73 (£6,000 of wealth per tonne created) and 1,127 tonnes respectively (£677.98 of wealth per tonne created).

Base is a new business forum set up specifically to provide practical information to companies about how they can capitalise on the drive to sustainability. Bringing together companies from every sector and from all parts of the supply chain at a major event in October, Base will examine the critical role that environmental considerations will play in how we do business in the 21st century.

Base’s Chairman, sustainability expert Tom Burke, said:

“Understanding how we manage and adapt to climate change is going to be critical to how we do business in future. The most successful companies from now on will be those that place climate change on a par with operational, market and financial risks, and those that adopt a positive, pragmatic and inventive attitude to developing green products and services.

“As part of this, it is critical that businesses do not miss the opportunity to address their own environmental impacts. It is imperative that they play a responsible role in educating their employees about the need for more sustainable behaviour in future, and in encouraging greener ways of living and working. There is still much to be done and all sectors of the economy and all parts of the country need to continually look to improve their performance.”

The research would indicate that the financial services sector is leading the way in minimising their impact on the environment although there is still room for improvement. Energy intensive sectors such as construction and energy production have some challenges ahead, but with technological advances and support from agencies, such as The Carbon Trust, reductions are achievable.

For support and advice on reducing emissions in your business log on to and

Read related items on:
Business Services
Construction and associated trades Industry
Climate Change
Base Business Forum
Carbon Trust

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