Does Your Small Business Follow Environment Laws?

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Logan

Small businesses in the North-east can quickly assess if they are taking the correct measures to comply with environmental legislation.

This is thanks to a new online questionnaire from NetRegs - www.netregs.gov.uk - the free and confidential website that provides practical, sector-specific guidance to small businesses on their environmental obligations.

"Solutions to Pollution" has been developed by NetRegs - set up by the UK's environmental regulators - in response to its most recent SME-nvironment survey.

The survey found the majority of businesses in England (92%) did not think that they undertook activities that could harm the environment.

However, when prompted with a list of potentially harmful activities, 43% admitted to carrying out at least one.

The most common were storing chemicals, fuel or oils (43%) and storing waste (28%).

The questionnaire, which challenges assumptions and practices among small businesses, has sections on waste disposal, risk assessment and emergency procedures and can be accessed via a link on the NetRegs homepage.

Richard Martin, programme manager at NetRegs, said: "If you run a small business it's important to stay up to date with your environmental legal requirements. Waste materials produced by your business or within your workplace are regulated by law, and you are responsible for their safe and legal disposal.

"By ensuring compliance with environmental legislation, small businesses can avoid the risk of prosecution and could benefit commercially in terms of cost savings and improved customer relations."

John Holbrow, national environment chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "Small businesses often don't have the time or resources to keep up with the ever-increasing environmental legislation. …