Spending watchdog says companies are ignoring advice from the Carbon Trust on greenhouse emissions

Businesses are failing to listen to advice from the Carbon Trust, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has warned.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said less than 40% of potential savings outlined by the Trust between 2003 and 2006 had been implemented in a report published today.

It said 60% of organisations had applied fewer than half of the recommendations from the body set up to help industry cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Only 12% of large firms with annual energy bills over £50,000 were found to have worked with the trust to reduce their carbon footprint, it said.

The Carbon Trust, which is a private company, was set up in 2001 to encourage a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the UK. It used £103.2m worth of public money in 2006/07 to support its work.

The NAO report said the trust had helped UK businesses and public sector organisations cut emissions by around two million tonnes in 2006/07 and was likely to increase this to 4.4m tonnes by 2010.

But NAO head John Bourn said the achievement was “a small one in view of the scale of the challenge ahead”.

He said: “The Carbon Trust needs to build on its good work and extend its drive to encourage business leaders to review the carbon footprint of their organisation and to take decisive action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”