Environment Minister opens annual Survey focused on building greener and more sustainable businesses

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister, Andrew Muir MLA, has launched the 26th annual NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister, Andrew Muir MLA, has launched the 26th annual NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey.

Run by responsible business network Business in the Community Northern Ireland (BITCNI), participating in the Survey enables an organisation to publicly demonstrate its commitment to being environmentally responsible and transparent. The results and organisation-specific gap analysis recommendations – released in November – allow companies to examine, compare and drive environmental improvements.

The format is an online self-disclosure questionnaire which asks about topics such as environmental management and performance, circular economy, resource use, waste, and biodiversity. It is free to participate, open to all organisations in Northern Ireland, and is used by many as a regular and external way to measure ongoing environmental progress.

Minister Muir said: “I am pleased to endorse the 2024 Northern Ireland Environmental Benchmarking Survey.  I recognise the Survey as a positive influence amongst organisations, helping them to identify environmental impacts, measuring progress for improvement, raising awareness of the environment and publicly demonstrating their commitment to a better environment.

“Initiatives like this serve as a way to motivate, challenge, encourage and inspire businesses to do better for the environment year-on-year, and can help to mitigate any potential business risks associated to changes in the environment and climate. I would encourage businesses in Northern Ireland to take part in the Survey, and to demonstrate that government and business is working together to address important environmental issues.”

The Survey opened on Tuesday 30 April and submissions must be received by Thursday 27 June.

121 organisations took part in 2023, with Spirit Aerosystems taking the overall top performer spot and Technidrive Ltd achieving the highest ranking amongst small business submissions.

Kieran Harding, Managing Director, BITCNI: “It’s important to note that the Survey isn’t a competition but a way for an organisation to compare itself to itself, as well as others, over time.

“Both the process and the gap analysis report that we provide following the results launch help organisations to identify and address areas for improvement and the overall findings of the report give us an interesting snapshot of environmental activity across Northern Ireland.

“As an annual exercise, it’s very encouraging to see involvement and action in this area grow year-on-year.”

Click here to sign up for a free ‘How to enter’ webinar 10:00 – 10:30 AM on 15 May, or get in touch here to register to take part in the Survey in 2024.

The Survey Report will be released at an event for participants on 20 November.