A lot of hot air...
...is what many people, including employees, think that companies' social and environmental policies are in practice.
Climate change is now widely recognised to be the most pressing environmental issue facing the world today. The Government's Energy Paper sent a dramatic policy signal to large-scale users such as business, that the company of the future will need to contribute to a low carbon economy through increased energy efficiency, and increasingly source its supply from renewable sources. Even so, many still view companies' environmental policies as simply fine words and good intent.
And of course, fine words and good intent amount to nothing unless backed up by practical actions.
Most, if not all, company social and environmental policies will refer to a company's desire to help the environment, either by taking some pro-active step or by ceasing to undertake harmful activities. To this end many companies now are showing a real interest in renewable energy.
BT commissioned a report into ways of meeting its stated aims of reducing CO2 emissions still further and acquiring renewable energy. Ford has been granted planning permission to erect a wind farm at its Dagenham manufacturing site and Sainsbury's is already powering one of its distribution centres by on site renewable generation.
Such actions don't just create extremely positive PR. There can be real commercial benefits - owning renewable generating capacity can reduce energy bills and, in certain instances, help a company to achieve its voluntary CO2 emissions reduction targets under Climate Change Levy negotiated agreements.
And the added business that can be won by companies displaying green credentials should not be forgotten. Many large and domestic consumers now check to see whether a company is green before buying their products and services.
Wragge & Co's Energy & Regulated Industries team has extensive experience of advising companies in connection with renewable energy projects. We advised a large company in connection with the establishment of a wind farm on one of its largest manufacturing sites in London, dealing with both the property and commercial arrangements. We are aware of the commercial as well as legal issues that having on site generation throw up and are ideally placed to assist you if you are considering (however tentatively) the possibility of on site renewable generation.
This alert may contain information of general interest about current legal issues, but does not give legal advice.