UK. Climate Change and Environment Minister Ian Pearson stresses values of country�s environmental industries

Wednesday, 22 November 2006


Climate Change and Environment Minister Ian Pearson MP has praised the enormous contribution made by the environmental goods and services sector in tackling problems and providing solutions to challenges facing 21st century society.

Presenting the key-note speech at the UK Forum for Environmental Industries, Mr Pearson said its members were playing a leading role in boosting the sector's turnover and job numbers.

Highlighting the high growth and expansion of the sector over the past five years, Mr Pearson said:

"The UKFEI has a leading role to play in ensuring that all of the regions of the UK maximise the benefits this sector has to offer. UKFEI members understand their local businesses, the challenges they face, and the kind of support they need.

"The link between central and regional government and the businesses operating in the environmental goods and services sector is really bearing fruit and I firmly believe the sector is playing a leading role in helping Government deliver its climate change agenda."

Mr Pearson was speaking today (Tues) at a UKFEI event in the Commons, attended by representatives from environmental companies, universities, research bodies, MP's and officials from the regions and devolved administrations.

Recent reports confirm that environmental industries are thriving across the UK, with benefits for both the environment and the economy. Latest figures forecast that by 2010 the Environmental Goods and Services sector will have a global value of $688bn.

Today this sector in the UK has an estimated turnover of over £25 billion and the latest report from the Environmental Industries Unit, which is jointly funded by Defra and DTI, estimates that this turnover will increase to over £34 billion by 2010, and £46 billion by 2015 - showing the sector has the potential to almost double in 10 years.

In terms of jobs, the figures are just as impressive. There are currently around 17,000 companies in the sector, employing 400,000 people in the UK. The Treasury has estimated that a further 100,000 jobs could be created over the next 10 years.

Barry Sheerman MP who is hosting the UKFEI event at the House of Commons said: "The UK's pioneering environmental technologies sector tackles some of our most pressing environmental problems. It is also increasingly a prime generator of sustainable jobs, skills and future prosperity. The UKFEI is well placed to ensure organisations and companies take advantage of the opportunities to help the UK realise its potential and become a world leader in this area."

Jackie Seddon, UKFEI Chairman and Chief Executive of Envirolink Northwest, said: "For years the environmental goods and services sector has been the invisible giant of the UK's economy. It's shocking that so little is known about the sector as a whole when the UK marketplace for environmental technologies and services equals that of aerospace and defence and, as this latest report shows, it has such potential."

"With the support of our regional members and national partners, the UKFEI is raising awareness of the sector's real value to the UK economy, demonstrating how innovation and technology are helping to tackle climate change. Events such as this one to celebrate environmental innovation will help us secure support to ensure that UK companies can compete in the global marketplace and make the most of opportunities here in the UK."

Editors note:

UKFEI members and partners actively support the growing Environmental Goods and Services sector, defined as the following sub-sectors:

The UK Forum for Environmental Industries (UKFEI) provides a conduit for its members and partners to communicate and collaborate with environmental industries, Government, research bodies and universities, the English regions and devolved administrations.

In its first five years, the UK Forum for Environmental Industries has established a track record for enhancing the competitiveness of the sector and promoting the UK's environmental technologies at home and abroad. It accelerates innovation and ensures that environmental industries are equipped to compete in the global marketplace.

Hosted by Barry Sheerman MP, the other speakers at the event are: Ian Pearson MP, Minister for Climate Change and the Environment; Peter Jones, Director of External relations for Biffa Waste Services Ltd; and Jackie Seddon UKFEI Chairman and Chief Executive of Envirolink Northwest.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 November 2006 )