The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC)
The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) exists to ensure that the UK business environment sector can operate effectively to improve the environment that we all rely on and enjoy as citizens. We work to ensure that environmental policies are thoughtful and progressive, that regulations are clear and enforced, that innovation is rewarded and that finance and export opportunities are available. We are independent of Government and funded by our members. We are based in central London where we share offices and systems with our sister organisation, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering.
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- Business Type:
- Professional association
- Industry Type:
- Market Focus:
- Internationally (various countries)
We and our members believe in the need for the UK to achieve high environmental standardsin a cost-effective manner. We also believe that the innovative and vibrant UK environmental sector has strong export earnings potential for the UK and can play a role in the much talked about ‘rebalancing’ of the UK economy. To this end we:
- Influence environmental policy and regulation to ensure it is fit for purpose
- Provide guidance to members on how upcoming regulatory change will affect their businesses
- Promote and showcase the value of the sector
- Provide a network to allow the environmental supply chain to connect
- Ease our members access into overseas markets
- Provide thought leadership through our policy reports and conferences
- Support green technology start-ups
- Help set technical standards in specialised fields
The environmental market is unusual in that it is heavily shaped by regulation and government policy. Much of this regulation is highly technical and subject to frequent change. Through EIC’s technical Working Groups, EIC members determine when and where regulatory changes are needed and then with EIC staff lobby to deliver these changes. Current Working Groups include:
- Carbon management
- Contaminated land
- Environmental laboratories
- Resource efficiency
- Shale gas
- Sustainable buildings & energy efficiency
EIC has an excellent track record in delivering regulatory and policy change for its members.
- Our lobbying and research on the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme was welcomed by
- Parliament and Government and has helped ensure the survival of this Scheme.
- We have been instrumental in the design and delivery of the Transport for London pollution control schemes and in the DfT national fund for bus retrofit – together these schemes have led to £140m being spent on pollution control.
- In 2013, together with our member AECOM we won the Brownfield Briefing Award for Best
- Lobbying Campaign on Land Remediation Relief. We were able to reverse the Treasury’s publicly-declared intention to abolish the relief, which would have cost the brownfield development industry £1bn in lost tax relief.
- Our lobbying has persuaded Government of the need to smooth the water industry’s ‘boom and bust’ investment profile. Legislative changes will now require OFWAT to address this. This will help the water supply chain manage staff and resources, retain expertise (which can improve the planning for dealing with future extreme weather events) and keep costs down.
The global environmental technology and services market is worth $5.4trillion, and China is well on the way to becoming the biggest country market, with $473billion committed to environmental protection over the next four years.
We believe the UK environmental industry should be a major player in the Chinese market. To support this, we have negotiated a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences (CSES), a body which is part of the Chinese Ministry of the Environment.
This MoU sets up a process for EIC members to engage directly with senior Chinese officials to develop commercial opportunities to provide environmental technologies and services in China. As part of this process EIC has hosted senior CSES officials on visits to the UK and introduced them to EIC member companies with an interest in the Chinese market – some of these members are now doing business in China.
The UK was a pioneer in pollution control. As a small crowded island that industrialised early, we have had long experience of managing people and industry in close proximity. For example, Battersea Power Station was the first power station in the world to be designed with built in emission reduction control in its chimneys.
To this day the UK has a good reputation internationally for environmental expertise and technology. Yet only 0.6% of the $1 trillion global environmental market goes to British firms. This market is growing fast and if we simply hold our share we could create an extra 27,000 jobs by 2025, equally if we could increase our share by half we would create an extra 40,000 jobs.
EIC promotes British environmental expertise and helps its members gain business abroad. We are an accredited trade partner of the Department for International Trade and regularly host inward trade missions looking to make contact with UK environmental firms. We also have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences, which enables our members to access opportunities in China.