The Northern Island Environmental Benchmarking Survey is a key way of assessing how well environmental business practice is implemented into NI companies. Established back in 1998, this survey not only offers the government and the public an idea of how well such practice has been put into place, but it also gives businesses a chance to see how well they are doing compared to their competitors against a benchmark.
What Is the Survey?
The survey itself is a fairly straightforward set of questions that goes out to registered companies each year. After that, the results are published on the Business in the Community website. The survey covers topics such as Waste Performance, Water Performance, Transport Performance and Energy Performance.
Companies are then listed into categories such as Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze performers, with case studies of excellent working practice highlighted. In 2015, the top-performing company in NI for good environmental business practice was NACCO Materials Handling, which managed to recycle 97% of all its waste in 2016 and build a new handling centre that has dramatically reduced transport usage.
What Are the Benefits for Companies?
This isn’t purely an exercise in auditing for the government: the results of the survey are incredibly useful, both for companies that have taken part and even for those that don’t. Every company in Northern Ireland, from small manufacturing companies to those that install air conditioning in Belfast such as the Enviro Group NI, can benefit from taking part. Benchmarking allows companies to see how they are performing comparatively; it can improve transparency and strengthen corporate identity. The results can improve engagement with stakeholders and help companies set targets for the years ahead.
Why Improve Environment Business Practices?
Some firms may ask, ‘Why do we need to improve our environmental business practices?’ Well, the short answer is that we all do if we want to live in a cleaner, greener and better world. The long answer includes the fact that better environmental practice can not only save money when implemented correctly, but can also see companies win awards, gain respect and improve customer satisfaction levels.
The Northern Ireland Environmental Benchmarking Survey is a well-established survey that is the leading benchmark for NI businesses when it comes to environmental business practices.