Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Embargoed until 00:01 4 November 2009 - Save money and help your business save the environment urges Hilary Benn

Embargoed until 00:01 4 November 2009 - Save money and help your business save the environment urges Hilary Benn

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 03 November 2009

Over £6.4billion could be saved by businesses every year by taking simple money saving steps, according to a new Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) campaign launched today at the WRAP annual conference.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn will encourage businesses to recognise the benefits of resource efficiency measures for their bottom line and the environment. Research by WRAP shows that 47% of businesses recognise they could make savings of over £100k through low and no cost efficiency measures – such as turning off equipment when it’s not being used – with 17% identifying over £1m of potential savings. Not only that but these measures could contribute as much as 10% to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2020 with little or no outlay from businesses.

He said:

“Businesses are facing challenging times, today more so than ever, so finding ways to save money makes a lot of sense.

“There are opportunities here in the UK too in the low carbon and environmental goods and services, where we currently have just over three percent of the global market. This will grow as consumers become increasingly environmentally aware and companies realise that waste is just a resource in another form. Sustainability is the key not only to the environment but to business success. Now is the time to shape our businesses of the future.”

Defra’s ‘Saving money – it’s your business’ campaign illustrates how simple environmental steps can turn into cost savings and provides practical advice for businesses on how to build resource efficiency into everyday working life. The campaign includes a new booklet ‘Can you afford not to?’ aimed at encouraging business success in a low carbon economy. The guide provides best practice examples and makes the business case for action including seizing new market opportunities and addressing risks in an economy where resources such as energy, raw materials and water need to be used more effectively.

Channel 4’s ‘Dumped’ guru and eco-design expert Rob Holdway is lending his support to the campaign. He says:

“Whether it’s turning off lights, turning down thermostats, cutting down on rubbish, or addressing dripping taps – businesses are ‘leaking’ money through bad use of their energy, water supplies or waste products.

“Simple steps such as turning off office equipment when it’s not in use, can help businesses become financial fit and environmentally friendly. This also has a positive knock-on effect on corporate reputation among consumers. Resource efficiency really isn’t rocket science.”

Notes to Editors

Defra’s top tips on resource efficiency:

1. Turn off all office equipment when you're not using it - overnight, at weekends and during bank holidays. Savings on just a single computer and monitor could be up to £35 a year.

2. Cut lighting costs by as much as 15%. Turn off lights in empty rooms. Use energy efficient light bulbs.

3. A constantly dripping tap can cost your business about £400 per year. Make sure you turn off taps fully and fix any drips.

4. Save 4% of your turnover with waste management techniques. Such as partnering with businesses to recycle waste or selling it to be used as raw materials.

5. Save 8% on your company’s heating bill. Turn the thermostat down by one degree.

6. Ask your suppliers about take-back schemes for unused products. You may be able to get your money back, or at least a portion of the cost.

7. Save up to one month’s worth of fuel over a year with smarter driving techniques such as reducing load and good vehicle maintenance.

8. Invest in efficient equipment to help cut your energy, transport and water costs. Government support includes interest-free Energy Efficiency Loans delivered through the Carbon Trust.

9. To refill an inkjet cartridge costs about the half the price of a new one. Use email where possible, set out your PC to print double-sided and refill printer, fax and photocopier cartridges.

10. Always publicise your commitment to reducing your environmental impact. More than a third of consumers would favour recyclable products or those with minimal packaging.

Contacts:

Defra Press Office
Phone: 020 7238 5608
NDS.DEFRA@coi.gsi.gov.uk

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