Eco reports generate work for designers

More and more large companies are producing environmental reports and the practice is set to spread to smaller firms, according to a new survey. The expanding market for environmental reports should create more work for graphic design consultancies.

More than a third of the 100 top companies in the Financial Times/ Stock Exchange index produced environmental reports last year – up from a fifth in 1993 – says survey organiser KPMG.

KPMG consultant Susie Knott says there is a “slow improvement” in the standard of environmental reports. Knott adds that the practice will “work its way down” to smaller companies.

Her view is backed by news that Thorn EMI’s report, designed by Tor Pettersen & Partners, has just won the 1994 Environmental Reporting Award (ERA) from the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. Pettersen also designed Thorn EMI’s previous environmental report, which won the best first-time report category in the 1993 ERAs.

Consultancy managing director Nancy Burton agrees that more companies are going to produce reports. “It will filter down once there is some sort of agreement about how the reports should be done. It is very time-consuming to gather the information and a way should be found for smaller firms to report without it being too burdensome,” says Burton.

Charles Duff, industrial advisor at the Department of the Environment, says the Government is against compulsory reporting but is trying to persuade more firms to produce reports.

Duff also suggests that the very different information needed by diverse audiences – ranging from financial analysts to communities living near factories – may lead to more companies producing several versions of their reports.

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