COMPANIES WHICH fail to tackle environmental issues in their corporate plans are missing opportunities to become more efficient, delegates at the Confederation of British Industry's annual conference heard this week.
Companies which have acted to cut pollution have also found ways of becoming more profitable, former Environment Secretary John Gummer told delegates.
Gummer cited the example of Tesco which had reacted to concerns about traffic pollution by re-evaluating its distribution strategy. As a result, it has cut the number of lorry delivery trips.
BAA director Sir John Egan also told delegates of the importance of companies confronting environmental issues in partnership with people affected by them.
He cited the example of the Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 project where BAA had managed to increase support for the project from 43% of the local population to 60% by dealing directly with environmental concerns.
Residents feared that a third runway would be needed to accommodate extra Terminal 5 traffic. BAA reacted by recommending to the planning inspector that he specifically rule out construction of a third runway even if the terminal goes ahead.
'There needs to be a balance between growth and the environment,' Egan said.