The Environment Agency's chief executive has warned businesses not to use the recession as an excuse to take their eye off the ball when it comes to their environmental responsibilities.
Speaking at Sustainabilitylive! in Birmingham last week, Paul Leinster told delegates that the EA was not ignorant of the difficulties facing companies in these gloomy economic times, but that environmental issues did not conveniently disappear when the marketplace got tough.
"The current economic situation we're facing now is clearly very serious," he said.
"But while attention is focused on economic issues and getting out of this immediate financial situation I believe it's important to use the opportunity that this presents for wider change.
"We want to make sure that the pressures business are facing don't tempt them to cut corners and pay less attention to housekeeping, maintenance, self-auditing and training , all of which potentially could increase emissions and pollution incidents."
He spoke of the opportunity for industry to emerge from the recession greener and leaner and of the importance of good regulation.
He also outlined several projects demonstrating that the Environment Agency is practising what it preaches, including forays into developing renewable energy on its own sites.
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