Environment high on agenda in North East

North East businesses are showing a greater commitment to environmental issues than their counterparts across the country, according to a new environment survey of more than 3,000 firms nationwide.

The survey, published by the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), reveals that more than half of all North East businesses consider climate change to be a significant issue for their businesses right now, and more than 63% think it will become a significant issue in the next five years.

The study also showed that 92% of North East businesses consider energy efficiency to be an important issue, particularly with the slowdown in the economy and companies facing painfully high energy bills.

There was a notable discrepancy between the national average statistics and those for the North East, with businesses in the region being more concerned than the rest of the country about their impact on the environment.

The NECC believes that there is a need for the government to engage with SMEs to help achieve the UK's 250 carbon emissions targets.

SMEs make up a large proportion of the North East economy and contribute more than 50% of all business energy.

James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), said: "These results genuinely illustrate the commitment of North East businesses to the environment.

"Companies in this region are showing that they recognise the social as well as financial benefits to be made from increasing energy efficiency. Even in the current economic climate, they are looking for ways to maintain and improve their environmental standards."

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