Letter: Trade unions call for workplace eco-audits

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Sir: Nicholas Schoon's article, 'Global warming strategy 'failing to save planet' ' (25 July), rightly describes the grim picture of increasing global warming, as predicted in the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

An international conference on this topic - Global Forum '94 - intended as the official follow-up to the Rio Earth Summit, held in Manchester just a month ago, aimed to draw up strategies for cities to become centres for sustainable development. Representatives from business, local government, trade unions and NGOs from 50 cities round the world met to thrash out ideas to be presented to the United Nations at the end of this year.

In particular, the trade unions pushed the idea of 'eco-auditing', the process whereby workers and employers monitor and report on workplace and production activities aimed at the targets laid down at the Earth Summit.

The special relevance of the Manchester Global Forum was its effort to engage organisations that can help translate global targets into practical action. In many cases this is in the workplace, be it a factory, a mine, an office, a farm or a forest.

A simple global guideline on eco-auditing would help ensure that the momentum generated by this process is monitored and strengthened and that the warnings of the IPCC are acted upon.

Yours sincerely,


Head, Economic and Social

Policy Department

International Confederation of

Free Trade Unions


26 July