A Letter to the Editor, submitted by Dr Paul Toyne
Sir: The environmental cost of leaving appliances on standby, highlighted in your cover story on 23 June, is hardly a new concern: experts have raised it at least since 1997. Nonetheless, there has been barely any response by regulators and businesses.
Our research on new product development (see www.article13.com) showed only a fifth of all FTSE 100 companies researching and designing new products to meet the goal of environmental sustainability. The vanguard of companies doing so has found measurable benefits in terms of cost savings, access to new markets and development of new market partnerships.
Since we cannot expect households to change behaviour overnight and switch appliances off, we must either wait for more businesses to voluntarily improve the design of electrical appliances or wait for the regulators and politicians to enforce the necessary changes. The former is surely preferable, but requires a new spirit of commitment by business to use innovation for environmental as well as economic benefit.