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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

19 Feb 2010 12:02:13

Utilities cause £259bn in environmental damage



Utilities cause £259bn in environmental damage
A new report commissioned by the United Nations has found that utilities companies cause approximately £259 billion ($400 billion) worth of damage globally in terms of carbon emissions and pollutants.

The Guardian newspaper, who exclusively previewed the study today (February 19th) have said that it could be "the best guide yet" in managing the environmental impact of the world's 3,000 biggest companies.

According to the report, sectors using "basic materials" were the second most damaging at over $300 billion, with the consumer goods sector closely following at just under $300bn.

Despite both industries having similar levels of impact, the actual breakdown of their impact in terms of resource use and production of pollutants was very different.

The research, conducted by Trucost, calculated the total impact of the 3,000 companies to be worth £900 billion ($1.4 trillion) in 2008 – which amounts to one third of profits made by the industries collectively.

Richard Mattison, the chief operating officer at the London consultancy, told the newspaper: "Externalities of this scale and nature pose a major risk to the global economy and markets are not fully aware of these risks, nor do they know how to deal with them."

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