Industry failing to meet green agenda

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

THE PUBLIC is increasingly critical of industry over green issues. It views the environment as the priority but distrusts what industry has to say on it. There is also rising support for the idea that the 'polluter should pay', writes David Nicholson-Lord.

According to Bob Worcester, chairman of MORI, which has been tracking attitudes to the environment since 1969, industry needs to 'get its act together' or face a growing range of penalties.

He says in Admap magazine that the impression that the environment is yesterday's news is wrong. Although green activism and consumerism have declined from a peak in 1991, they are still high. Eighteen million people - four in 10 of the population aged over 14 - are 'green consumers': they have selected a product for environmental reasons.

Green activists - people who have engaged in five or more environmental activities, from watching a wildlife film to writing to MPs - form about 23 per cent of the population, more than 10 million, and include as many working-class as middle-class people. Although the public still finds environmental issues 'bewildering', it trusts scientists with environmental groups more. People think the environment should be the foremost social responsibility of business. It was listed as top priority by 31 per cent last year against 24 per cent in 1991.