Going green can improve a company’s bottom line and give it a competitive advantage, one of Britain’s top business leaders said in a speech at the Ecobuild show in London on Wednesday.

Katja Hall, chief policy director at CBI, appearing at a CBI-hosted seminar event titled “Is green the right strategy for growth?” emphasised the importance of politicians and businesses finding enough common ground to agree on the importance of ‘green growth’.

Hall argued that in order to decarbonise and secure the country’s future energy, the UK needs to attract investment into the necessary areas. She also said that the UK should support private investment into infrastructure and energy by extending capital allowances to cover structures and buildings.

According to Hall, expanding a company’s involvement in green issues now makes commercial sense.

However, allowing companies to minimise the risks that come with uncompetitive energy costs in the UK is a priority, if opportunities to invest in energy infrastructure are to be maximised. Hall said this was particularly true of energy intensive industries.

Hall urged chancellor George Osborne to help in his forthcoming budget through three specific measures: by freezing the Carbon Price Floor from 2015/2016 onwards, extending Energy Intensive Industry (EII) compensation packages from 2015/2016 and to “consider the cumulative impact of costs, such as the Renewable Obligation and the Carbon Reduction Commitment”.

She also called for more focus on energy efficiency to bring down consumer and industrial energy costs. Hall said schemes such as the Green Deal could do a great deal more to achieve savings in energy efficiency terms. She argued that the scheme needed simplifying and its aims communicated more clearly to the target audience – consumers.