Sustainable Business 2011

ENDS (Environment Data Services), Forum for the Future
Publication date
October 2011
Managing Corporate Responsibility
Free/Pay for content
Sustainable Business 2011 is the first independent indicator-based assessment of UK business sustainability performance. The report tracks 16 indicators to capture a snapshot of the state of UK business. Each indicator represents an important aspect of environmental, social or economic sustainability.

This report has been produced by environmental information specialist ENDS (Environment Data Services), in collaboration with Forum for the Future, which helped to develop the report concept and the indicators used to measure sustainability. The results

The report finds that UK businesses have rapidly increased their capacity to engage with sustainability in the latest year for which data is available – mostly 2010. More companies are gaining environmental management certification and publishing sustainability reports, and the number of workers and graduates with sustainability skills and knowledge is rising.

However despite encouraging progress in many areas, the report finds that UK plc is nowhere near the path to achieving government targets for an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. On the contrary, in the latest reported year industrial carbon emissions actually rose, as did industrial energy intensity, and the carbon intensity of UK grid electricity and off-road haulage.

The report also finds a move away from sustainability in indicators looking at wider economic and social issues. For example, spending on research and development, pay inequality, and social performance (on human rights and labour and supply chain standards) have all fallen over the past year.