Enterprise Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 15th October 2002.

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Photo of Baroness Howe of Idlicote Baroness Howe of Idlicote Crossbench 5:30 pm, 15th October 2002

My Lords, I support the amendment tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Phillips, and I do so for two reasons. First, I declare an interest in that I chair a foundation for the environment which was set up some 10 years ago by BOC. We have funded the encouragement of the dissemination of information on the environment to schoolchildren. I therefore believe that this is an important area as regards good governance, social responsibility and the environment. I must also report that from everything the foundation has picked up subsequently we know that children and young people are far more alive to the benefits for the consumer of having such issues taken into account.

The second reason I support the amendment is the importance to competition. Without doubt, the bottom line benefits from the growing acknowledgement by companies that their customers, the citizens of their country, want them to be good corporate, community-involved bodies in the broad sense and to follow good environmental practices.

I therefore warmly support the amendment and I hope that if it is not accepted at least the OFT, with its new responsibilities in this regard, will take on board the aims behind it. I warmly approve of them.