Energy Efficiency, Waste & the Environment

Saving Energy at Work

Advice on how to save on energy costs to your business is available from a variety of sources outlined below.

SME Resource Efficiency Toolkit

We have put together a toolkit to help small and medium-sized enterprises in Charnwood Borough benefit from improving their resource efficiency. To access the SME toolkit you will first need to register to this site.

Energy Savings Trust

The Energy Savings Trust is a non-profit organisation that promotes energy saving, funded by government and the private sector. It provides independent advice to businesses (and home owners and schools) on all energy matters including:

  • Insulation
  • Fuel
  • Grants
  • Renewable Energy, such as wind and solar power.

You can complete on-line energy questionnaires to see how efficient your business property is and what improvements can be made.

Similarly the Energy Savings Secrets website offers tips and advice to businesses.

Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent organisation that is funded by Government. Their role is to help the UK move to a low carbon economy by helping business and the public sector reduce carbon emissions now and capture the commercial opportunities of low carbon technologies. The Carbon Trust offers free surveys to businesses with energy bills over £50,000. You can find out whether you qualify for a free energy survey on the Carbon Trust website

(see also Useful Links)

Grants to Improve your Resource Efficiency (IYRE)

Grants of up to £1000 are available for companies in Leicestershire to improve their resource efficiency

Green Deal

The Government's proposed Green Deal. The planned Green Deal scheme is intended to benefit both householders and businesses. A quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the energy we use to heat our homes, but a similar amount comes from our businesses, industry and workplaces.

Under the Green Deal, bill payers will be able to get energy efficiency improvements without having to front up the cash. Instead, businesses will provide the capital, getting their money back via the energy bill. At the heart of the offer is a simple rule: estimated savings on bills will always equal or exceed the cost of the work. Millions of homes and businesses could benefit from improvements under the Green Deal. There will be opportunities for companies to become accredited assessors or installers of energy saving measures.

Renewable Energy; Why not make the switch at Work?

As a country, the UK is the world's seventh biggest energy user. Every year we use the equivalent of 4,000 litres of oil for every person in the country and our demand for energy is increasing. More and more of our appliances are electric, battery or fuel powered.

Our dependence on fossil fuels will inevitably have to change. As reserves run out or become uneconomic to extract, renewable energies are the only option - even if there were not other considerations The main problem with fossil fuels is not that they are running out, but that they release carbon dioxide when burnt - the main cause of global warming and climate change. Other forms of pollution - sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide -are also emitted by fossil fuels.

Alternatives to the fossil fuels are all around us. Boundless energy can be harvested from the sun, the wind, flowing water and other natural sources. These renewable energies won't run out and what's more, they don't cause pollution.

Make the switch to renewable energy, it's clean, efficient and may also be cheaper than your current energy supplier. For more information look on the Friends of the Earth website for their top 10 renewable Energy suppliers www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/climate/issues/green_energy/

Business and the Environment

Plain English guidance on environmental regulations for your business (NetRegs Government web site)

Businesses can also decrease their impact upon the environment by encouraging staff to use public transport for travel to work through green transport plans. This link also contains advice on how to decrease the environmental impact of your company in the office

Environmental Management Systems (EMS's) can be a helpful tool to mitigate against your companies impact on the environment. Evidence of EMS's many also win you new business as increasingly potential customers with be looking for evidence of environmental best practise within their supply chain.

For further information on Environmental Management Systems contact the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment or Gov.uk. The adoption of ISO 14000 / ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standards can save your business money.

Some business activities that may cause pollution or that pose another risk to the environment are regulated. One form of regulation is the issuing of environmental permits, which have replaced the various types of written authorisation such as licences and consents (guide to environmental permits from Business Link). To comply with the law, you must ensure that you have appropriate authorisation for the activities that your business carries out. Some types of permit are issued by the Environment Agency, others by the local authority. Find out who regulates what.

The NetRegs website gives advice on the whole range of environmental topics, including waste disposal, hazardous substances, air, land and water pollution, waste types and waste disposal and treatment, other nuisances (e.g. noise) and carbon reduction.

Waste Disposal, Waste Minimisation and Resource Efficiency

All businesses generate waste and have to store, handle and recover or dispose of it. There are legal requirements for managing your waste efficiently, and by doing so your business may also benefit through cost savings (general advice from Business Link on your waste responsibilities).

Although the Borough Council offers a disposal service for household waste, businesses must arrange private sector contracts for disposal of their waste. The Environment Agency maintains a list of licensed waste brokers and carriers for business waste (simply search by your postcode).

Business waste minimisation is about the introduction of practical ways to systematically reduce business waste production. The aim is to reduce dependence on landfill disposal, diverting waste resources instead for reuse (wherever possible), maximise recycling, and make efficiency savings. For businesses this means reducing your waste disposal costs, and even generating income if the waste still has value. It will also improve both your business image and environmental credentials.

Its aim is to reduce waste by a hierarchy of measures:-

  1. Eliminate
  2. Reduce
  3. Re-use
  4. Recycle
  5. Disposal

You can improve your business by considering the impact that your products or services have on the environment throughout their lifetime. This approach is called life cycle thinking. Life cycle thinking can benefit all businesses. You can apply it to any of your products or services. It can help you:

  • save money
  • ease the pressure on the supply chain
  • identify and comply with environmental legislation.

You can use life cycle assessment to assess the overall impact of your products or services.

Advice from Business Link on waste management.

The first step towards improving your resource efficiency is to work out your current resource use, and to identify any areas for improvement.

The Rippleffect 21507 Rippleffect Logo

Companies can save around 30% on their water and sewerage bills by joining
the Rippleffect. The Rippleffect is a free water efficiency initiative that can benefit businesses of all sizes..

So, whether your business is an office, hotel or restaurant, with washrooms and kitchen facilities, or a factory with processing lines, the Rippleffect can help you reduce water use and save money.

Over 700 businesses registered to take part in the Rippleffect programme during the first launch in October 2010.

Register your Interest

Free Online Training to Improve your Waste Minimisation Performance21502 Rethink Logo Beige - Png

Rethink Waste is a free online training programme by WRAP, with support from EEF, to help manufacturers reduce waste, improve resource efficiency and save money. Over 680 businesses registered to take part in the Rethink Waste programme during the first launch in September 2010.The next launch of the Rethink Waste programme will happen in February 2011 and if you would like to take part, please register your interest now (Note that the deadline for registration is 31st January 2011

Useful Links

  • Leicestershire Environmental Business Club (LEBC) hold networking seminars on current and up coming environmental legislation
    Contact details - John Storer House, Wards End, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3HA. Telephone 01509 219531, Email action@enviro4change.freeserve.co.uk
  • Environwise - The Envirowise website is packed full of information to help you make savings in your company. Every year, the Envirowise Programme helps thousands of businesses across the UK improve profits. It has published more than 350 publications, run around 200 events per year and have helped save British businesses more than £797 million.
  • Envirowise Advice Line – 0800 585 794
  • Carbon Trust Advice Line – 0800 085 2005
  • How to contact the Council on Sustainability Issues
  • WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) works in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to help businesses and individuals reap the benefits of reducing waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way. WRAP has specific advice for farmers and growers, the construction and recycling industries, the retail sector and SMEs in general.
  • Rippleffect