The number of companies awarded the environment management standard ISO 14001 has tripled in the past 12 months, according to the British Standards Institution.
Britain is now third behind Germany and France in the league table of accredited firms.
BSI said the interest in environmental standards was being driven by a number of factors. These included the `greening’ of supply chains by large companies such as Rover, IBM and Jaguar, the greening of the Government’s £40bn procurement budget, and new and pending legislation.
Keith Tozzi, BSI chief executive, said: `The number of companies applying for ISO 14001 is a good barometer of corporate interest in environmental protection. More than 1,000 UK organisations have achieved ISO 14001 certification.’