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What are governments and businesses doing to help the environment

23rd April 2014 Print

Sustainability is widely seen as the way forward in terms of avoiding further damage to the environment and both governments and businesses across the world have committed themselves to a program of sustainability.

What is the UK government doing?

Back in February 2011, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and Environment Secretary Caroline Spielman announced plans to allow the coalition to go down in history as ‘the greenest government ever’. Leading by example is certainly seen, by the government, as the way to encourage UK citizens to commit to helping the environment. As such, Clegg and Spielman announced that they would take steps to reduce the waste caused at the Houses of Parliament by a quarter by the next election, which will amount to around 74,000 tonnes saved, if successful.

The government has continually reiterated its support for sustainable programs at the annual G8 summit. As well as making increasingly bold (admirable) commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, to buy more sustainable and efficient products and ensuring transparency and independent of governmental sustainability to take place.

Which businesses are notable for their sustainability programs?


Number one on the Corporate Knights Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies for 2013 is Umicore. Umicore has pledged that by 2015, there will ‘zero accidents’ in the workplace, eco-efficiency, heavy emission and carbon footprint reduction, as well sustainable procurement.   


In its Green Initiatives PDF, the Hertz Company has pledged itself to conserving natural resources and to minimising its use of non-renewable materials. This is can be seen in the revamped Hertz offices at its flagship Marble Arch store, at which renewable paint and building materials were used as part of the building’s structure. 

Hertz has also committed to providing its sizeable customer base with a range of different options that ‘promote sustainable objectives’. As such, its Green Traveller Collection – a line of hybrid and electric-powered vehicles – consists entirely of cars with high fuel efficiency and low carbon emissions. 


The Dutch electronics firm, Philips, has committed itself to improving the lives of 2 billion people by 2015, through its admirable sustainability initiatives. These include a pledge to improve the energy efficiency of its products by 50% by 2015, compared to 2009, and doubling the amount of materials that it recycles, again compared to 2009.