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Environmental Legislation Threatens UK Businesses: Aon

Source: Aon

Posted on 08 Feb 2011

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UK businesses are dangerously exposed to the possibility of heavy fines under the latest UK and EU legislation regarding environmental liability, according to Aon, the world’s leading risk advisor.

To help UK firms establish the level of risk they face and how these risks may be transferred and insured, Aon has teamed up with Argyll Environmental to develop a Site Report that uniquely combines environmental and flood risk assessment into one cost effective package for the commercial market.

Under relatively new EU legislation implemented in the UK, the consequences of which many businesses are typically unaware firms can be held financially liable for damage to the environment caused by activities on their property, even if the damage occurred due to the activities of former owners. This means that nearly every property owner in Britain now needs to be aware of the environmental history of their property as well as the consequences of current operations.

Many larger UK firms are tapping in to the growing environmental insurance market to provide cover if it is found that there has been contamination of the environment due to activities undertaken on their land or where current operations may present a potential threat to the environment.

Dr Simon Johnson, Aon Risk Solutions’ environmental director for the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa commented: “UK businesses are potentially sleep walking in to a real crisis if they continue to ignore the very real threat that environmental risks pose to their balance sheets. EU and UK legislation and regulation is increasingly placing the blame for damage to the environment at the feet of land owners, so it is vital they are aware of the history and issues involving their property.

“It may be appropriate for a business to take out insurance to protect themselves, and there is certainly a burgeoning insurance market that is prepared to take on these risks, but as a first step knowledge is certainly key.”