A5. Integration of biodiversity considerations into business activity

a. Environmental Management Systems

b. Environmental consideration in supply chains


Type: Response indicator


Indicator Description

The proportion of large businesses (250+ employees) in a range of sectors that are taking steps to minimise their environmental impact as measured using an Environmental Management System (EMS). The Environmental Protection Expenditure (EPE) survey (on which this indicator is based) has been discontinued. As a result it will not be possible to further update this indicator. Possibilities for a replacement are being considered.




No new data since the previous publication.

In 2013, 77% of large companies that responded to the EPE Survey had an Environmental Management System (EMS) in place, compared with 83% of responding companies in 2012 and 79% in 2011. 

In 2013, 53% of responding large companies had an EMS certified to ISO 14001.

Overall, in 2013, 24% of respondents had an EMS in place which was not externally certified (i.e. it was developed and implemented to meet “in-house” needs). This compares to 31% of respondents in 2012 having an “in-house” EMS in 2012.

Overall, 92% of large companies considered environmental issues within their supply chain in 2013, up from 78% in 2012. Within the 2013 figure, 58% formally considered environmental issues, 34% considered them informally; and 8% did not consider environmental issues at all.


Figure A5ai. Percentage of large companies that use an Environmental Management System, 2011 to 2013.


  1. As companies can have multiple systems in place, a hierarchy (EMAS > ISO 14001 > BS 8555 > In-house) has been applied to avoid double counting. 
  2. Based on responses from 121 large companies in 2011, 127 large companies in 2012, and 134 large companies in 2013.
  3. ‘Large companies’ are those that employ at least 250 staff.
  4. ‘Don’t know’ was not given as a response option in the 2011 survey.

Source: Defra.


Figure A5bi.  Percentage of large companies that consider environmental issues in their supply chain, 2012 to 2013.


  1. Based on responses from 120 large companies in 2012, and 133 large companies in 2013.
  2. ‘Large companies’ are those that employ at least 250 staff.

Source: Defra.


Assessment of change in biodiversity considerations in business activity


Long term

Short term

Latest year

Percentage of large companies that use an Environmental Management System (EMS)

Decreased (2013)

Percentage of companies where the environment is formally considered in the supply chain

Increased (2013)



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Last updated: December 2015

Latest data: 2013

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