Businesses across the Midlands are being urged to make their competitors "green with envy" by signing up to an environmental charter.
The West Midlands Environment Index 2006 has been launched this week to encourage businesses to prove their green credentials.
The Business in the Community (BiTC) Index, which is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, is widely recognised as one of the UK's leading benchmarks of corporate social responsibility.
The voluntary charter rates businesses against their peers, and whole sectors against each other, on the basis of their environ-mental management and performance.
BiTC's Steve Fitzgerald said: "This is the fifth year that we have run the Index in the West Midlands and its original objective - to raise awareness of the environment as a strategic, competitive issue at boardroom level - is still relevant.
"However these days the Index aims higher, offering companies a tool to measure progress and drive continuous improvement while providing credible, independent and comparable information to stakeholders."
Ben Reid, chairman of BiTC West Midlands, said: "By simply making the public aware that they are willing to improve their performance and take part in this initiative, companies send a very strong sign to their customers, employees and the local community.
"Environmental practice makes sound business sense because it gets organisations to look at ways of improving their efficiency."
Groundwork's James Dennison said: "This index challenges West Midlands businesses to improve their environmental performance year on year."
All organisations taking part in the index are offered guidance on how improved environmental measurement can be used to their advantage.
The deadline for completion of the Index is the start of March and the results will be published in June.
* Further information is available from James Dennison at Groundwork on 0121 507 6532, or by sending an email to email@example.com