EPA urges businesses to save money by ‘being green’

The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a one-stop shop for businesses in Kilkenny to help them save money while preventing waste, conserving water and reducing their energy costs.

The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a one-stop shop for businesses in Kilkenny to help them save money while preventing waste, conserving water and reducing their energy costs.

The EPA developed these resources for businesses as they face increasing energy costs and waste and water charges, and as they look to reduce their overheads by adopting smarter, greener ways of doing business.

BeGreen provides access to a range of business programmes including GreenBusiness and GreenHospitality. GreenBusiness is a free business advisory service with regards to waste prevention and resource efficiency. BeGreen’s environmental advisers visit organisations and generate a tailored environmental efficiency action plan free of charge. The programme also provides online materials and analysis tools.

“BeGreen allows businesses in Kilkenny to access a range of programmes, guides and case studies that can assist them in becoming resource efficient. Everyone from manufacturers, service and hospitality providers through to shop owners, retailers, publicans, garage operators and farmers can find programmes and guides that are suitable for their needs on the EPA’s new web pages,” said EPA manager Keiron Phillips.

“The guides contain many simple low-cost tips on actions that these business owners can take to reduce costs while impacting positively on the environment. Businesses will save money by using fewer raw materials and preventing waste, conserving water and reducing energy consumption. The great news is that all this can mean significant bottom-line cost savings.”

GreenHospitality has operating since 2009 and has assisted many hotels and catering businesses to reduce their resource consumption. The programme has already generated over €15 million in savings for 250 participating businesses. BeGreen also provides access to REPAK, IDA, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland schemes that can assist businesses in being more efficient in their use of resources.

Some examples of money-saving pointers include:

• Double-sided printing cuts your paper costs in half and is easily set up on office printers.

• Garage owners can make money by recovering their metal. Fixing compressor leaks can save 30% of the associated energy costs.

• On average, offices spend €6,000 each year by leaving equipment on during weekends and bank holidays.

• Using night blinds on open refrigeration cabinets can save retailers significant amounts of money.

• Each kilogram of food waste costs business around €2 when purchasing, cooking and waste management costs are factored in.

For more information on the programmes and guides, see www.begreen.ie.