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Green News & Events

Green News

Small businesses in six London Boroughs are now able to access free specialist support July 2012
South London Businesses save over £150,000 through green actions February 2012
Green Opportunities: Sustainable ventures for a sustainable world May 2011
Businesses could save £18billion a year by generating less waste March 2011
Wandsworth businesses make savings on recycling and energy efficiency Sept 2010
Small businesses are keen to go green but need financial support so they don't go into the red August 2010
Wandsworth company shows how other businesses can recycle June 2010
Support for businesses affected by CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme April 2010
Go Green Plus provides green support wanted by FSB April 2010
Landfill Tax increase encourages businesses to seek alternatives March 2010
Valpak sponsors Go Green Plus programme February 2010
10:10 Campaign  
Turn your office Green - Top 10 Tips  
Save money and the planet with the new and improved Owl Wireless Electricity Monitor  

July 2012

Small businesses in six London Boroughs are now able to access free specialist support.

Free advice and consultancy from qualified environmental specialists!!

Small businesses in the 6 London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Kensington & Chelsea, Merton, Richmond, Southwark and Wandsworth are able to get free advice and consultancy from qualified environmental specialists to help them reduce their costs and save money by ‘going green’. The project, Greening Business, is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the local authorities together with 4 other partners, Merton Chamber of Commerce Business Solutions, Workspace Group Plc, Groundwork London and the Black Ethnic Minority Foundation. Greening Business is led by Wandsworth Council who, in collaboration with its 9 other partners, was successful in winning £750,000 of ERDF to deliver this project until the end of April 2014. The project will enable each participating business to access 12 hours of support tailored to their specific needs and priorities, be they the need to: reduce costs; win larger contracts; have a better understanding in order to comply with legislation around waste and recycling; purchase more environmentally friendly products; access finance to pay for a major greening investment or a combination of some of these.

Businesses participating in this project could benefit in a number of ways. For example, by adopting some simple yet effective greening measures, firms could reduce their energy and water consumption, thus making some financial savings through having lower utilities bills. Having an effective active environmental policy in place is often a prerequisite to be in a position to tender for larger commercial contracts and ensuring that the policy is robust yet practical to implement can be a plus point for commissioning organisations who need to source suppliers or contractors who are environmentally friendly. Ensuring businesses understand their legal obligations in relation to environmental matters such as commercial waste or recycling could help them comply with legislation.

Brian Albuquerque, Greening Business Programme Manager said “it is great that the Greening Business Partnership led by Wandsworth Council is able to provide a much needed service to support small businesses across 6 London Boroughs. Our experienced and specialist advisers from Merton Chamber Business Solutions and Groundwork London research bespoke environmental solutions which meet the needs of the business to ensure that they benefit from any changes they make. Quite often, small changes can make a big difference.”

If you are a small business in one of the 6 London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Kensington & Chelsea, Merton, Richmond, Southwark or Wandsworth and are interested in receiving this free support then please contact Christina Parnell-Harris on 020 8944 5501 or e-mail her at [email protected].

February 2012

London businesses save over £150,000 through green actions

South London businesses have saved £153,049 by implementing a variety of green actions in their firms. The businesses from six areas – Kingston, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth – worked with Merton based MCC Business Solutions, which ran GoGreen Plus (GGP) between 2009 and 2011 in partnership with the relevant local authorities.

The wide-ranging support programme was open to small and medium sized businesses (1-250 employees), offering 12 hours of free advice and support to encourage businesses to take action on waste and energy, water and/or CO2 reduction by reducing, reusing and recycling. GoGreen Plus is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

In total GoGreen Plus worked with 386 businesses, diverting 762 tonnes from landfill, saving 509m3 of water and saving 535 tonnes of CO2.

Helen Clark Bell, GoGreen Plus project manager said: “This is great news that we have been able to help so many businesses generate significant annual savings over the past three years. We have worked with a wide variety of organisations throughout the project and often their actions have had no cost, or little cost to implement.

“By going green firms have demonstrated how they can improve efficiencies throughout their business and once started most are building upon their environmental actions and making year on year savings. At a time when cost savings are crucial for most businesses and utility costs are rising this represents a significant difference to small and medium businesses”

Over the course of the project advisers worked with businesses from sectors such as hospitality, manufacturing, professional services and retail. Many improved energy efficiency by switching off lights and machinery when not in use or installed LED lighting and motion sensors, while others looked at recycling and reusing different materials to avoid it being disposed in landfill.

“All businesses can benefit from regularly reviewing their operating practices and understanding their overheads”, said Diana Sterck, CEO of MCC Business Solutions. “We are delighted that this service has been such a huge success in reducing these core costs for businesses whilst improving their environmental footprint. This project clearly demonstrates that efficiency is tangibly linked to sustainability.”

 


 

GREEN OPPORTUNITIES:

Sustainable ventures for a sustainable world
‘Green Opportunities’ is a workshop to help build new business from ‘sustainability’.
Who is it for?
Participants might be setting up a new venture, or exploring new opportunities for growth within an existing business. They might be students or recently graduated, or longer established in their careers and enterprises.
What’s it about?
New ‘green’ business activity is very wide-reaching and provides exciting new business opportunities, often in surprising ways. The bootcamp aims to help you open up these opportunities. Some of the areas to be explored include: eco-products and services, recycled materials and packaging, green marketing, design for the environment, and green supply chains.  
Participants will:

  • identify enterprise opportunities that design in sustainability
  • explore how to commercialise the opportunity
  • network with experts and practitioners in sustainable design for products and services
  • find support and expertise in green entrepreneurship
  • learn about marketing their enterprise to create a sustainable business in a sustainable world.

Date: Launch 13 October, then November 3rd and 4th 2011.
Venue: Tolworth Court, Kingston University Sports Ground, Surrey KT4 7QH

Visit http://www.thebusinessbootcamp.org/kingston.html to book your place.


March 2011

Businesses could save £18 billion a year by generating less waste and using raw materials more efficiency.

This figure is published today by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The research says that these savings coupled with using energy and water more efficiently, could save businesses around £23 billion annually.

Improving resource efficiency, it says, is the key part of the transition to a green economy and these savings could be made with little or no investment.

The main barriers to achieving these savings according to the report are behavioural, financial and a lack of information.

Environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, said: "Moving to a green economy offers businesses opportunities to grow into the future. Becoming more resource efficient contributes to a business's bottom line, increases profitability and their capacity to grow.

"In addition to improving competitiveness, businesses could reduce carbon emissions by 29 million tonnes a year; so it's a win-win for business and the environment."

The downturn in the economy may be partly responsible for businesses becoming more interested in resource efficiency as a way to keep costs down.

A survey for Envirowise found that almost three quarters (73%) of businesses say they have developed a more detailed knowledge of their spending and resource use as a result of the recession.

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September 2010

Wandsworth businesses make savings on recycling and energy efficiency

Two businesses in Wandsworth have made savings by introducing green initiatives.

Craftwork International, a commercial property interior design/ refurbishment business, and Putney Wharf, an estate and building-management company, were both helped by Go Green Plus advisers in implementing the money-saving policies.

Craftwork International has made an annual saving of £225.04 by changing the way it deals with its waste, including recycling paper and generating less waste around the office, while the energy efficiency measures introduced at Putney Wharf paid for themselves in six weeks. These included replacing fluorescent lighting units with LED tubes and halogen fittings with LED spotlights. Changing the lighting in the garage area on the estate will save £5-6,000 a year and further costs will be reduced by 80-90% using low wattage built-in motion sensors. This new lighting will also save 32 tonnes of CO2 or 43,400kWh.

Helen Clark Bell, Go Green Plus project manager said: “This is fantastic news that businesses are making real savings by introducing simple environmental measures. Not only does it help save money, something all firms are trying to do at present, but it will also help meet climate change targets.”

Go Green Plus advisers tailor make each plan to individual businesses and can demonstrate real financial and environmental savings. The service helps businesses save time, ensure compliance of regulations and can increase firms profits.

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Small businesses are keen to go green but need financial support so they don't go into the red

16 August 2010 PR/2010/44

FSB News Release


Expanding the current loan scheme for small businesses and providing incentives for firms to green their buildings are just two of the measures that Government must look at in order to achieve the UK's tough carbon emission reduction targets, according to a new report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) today. 

The UK is expected to reduce its carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 and the report, ‘Making sense of going green – small businesses and low carbon economy', looks at the many opportunities which will allow small businesses to play their part. 

The FSB believes that to get small business owners to proactively embrace energy efficiency, the Government needs to make going green economically viable. While many small businesses understand the benefits of green investment, the upfront cost is a huge disincentive. 

Currently, small firms can access a zero per cent loan scheme for energy efficient equipment which the FSB urges the Government to reform and expand. The scheme allows firms to ‘pay as you save' so firms can realise a genuine cost saving through energy efficiency, without having to make an upfront cost. 

With 47 per cent of the UK's carbon emissions from buildings there is an urgent need to engage with the private sector to tackle this problem. Furthermore, with 44 per cent of small businesses renting their business premises, many for less than five years, neither the landlord nor the business would see the benefit of making the building as environmentally friendly as possible.  The FSB believes this can be done by: 

  • Incentivising private sector providers (banks, energy or construction companies) to pay the upfront costs of major building energy efficiency upgrades 
  • Guaranteeing ‘pay as you save' repayments through energy bills – by linking the responsibility of repayment to the building would help overcome the landlord/tenant divide
  • Supporting new business owners to green their buildings by encouraging firms in the worst G-rated buildings to take steps to move to an F-rating
  • Not penalising those who increase their rateable value through greening their premises by waiving the increased business rates

John Walker, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:  

"The need to cut carbon emissions and the predicted increase in the cost of energy over the coming decade means that the move to a low carbon economy is more of an economic imperative than ever. 

"In order to achieve the tough targets set by the Government, it must ensure that it makes economic sense for the UK's 4.8 million small firms to go green. Small businesses can play a huge part in the UK's fight against climate change and we urge the Government to harness this potential when it publishes its Energy Bill, expected later this Parliament.

"If the correct policies are put in place now, then small businesses will have the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions while also delivering the substantial economic growth that the UK economy desperately needs."

Mike Childs, Friends of the Earth's Head of Climate, said:

"As this report sets out, small businesses have much to gain from cutting their emissions - insulating offices and producing clean energy will save thousands on fuel bills, and there's going to be plenty of new job opportunities as loft-laggers, roofers and technicians are needed to improve the UK's woefully inefficient buildings.

"Increasing zero-interest loans and more ambitious incentives for green energy for businesses would make going green more financially rewarding, but businesses also need certainty about what will be expected of them in the years ahead - which means getting regulations and taxation right.

"The Government's immediate priority should be to set all areas Local Carbon Budgets, encouraging councils and businesses to work together to cut emissions, save energy and transform the places in which we live and work."

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June 2010

Wandsworth company shows how other businesses can recycle

Wandsworth based Britannia Row is leading the way in recycling different materials and implementing a number of other environmental initiatives.

Since introducing recycling within the company less waste is ending up in landfill. Natalie Scarfe, Britannia Row’s Admin & Health and Safety Manager said: “Before we started our bins were regularly overflowing. Now they’re never full and we’re looking to use just one bin in the near future.” She estimates that the waste going to landfill has been cut by 40%.

A range of materials are recycled, including paper, glass, plastic, cardboard, ink cartridges, wooden pallets, electrical equipment and furniture. Mixed recycling bins are available to all staff and recycling is collected on a weekly basis. Desks and office furniture have a longer life at Britannia Row, being used as benches or storage once they have outlived their intended use.

Regular reminders are given to the staff to encourage them to recycle, though Natalie found that a lot of the staff were already into the recycling habit. “We have a lot of young people who just got on and recycled. A lot more people are doing it at home so it makes sense to do it at work as well,” she said.

Britannia Row has been working with the southlondon.biz scheme Go Green Plus, which provides 12 hours free support and advice to small and medium sized businesses. Go Green Plus runs in six local authority areas – Kingston, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Helen Clark Bell, Project Manager at Go Green Plus said: “In Recycle Week it is fantastic to hear how businesses are recycling more and sending less to landfill. Since implementing the recycling scheme Britannia Row is now looking at other environmental initiatives including energy efficiency, which will help save the business money as well as help combat climate change.”

Further information on Go Green Plus can be found at www.southlondon.biz and businesses interested in receiving free advice can contact southlondon.biz on 020 8947 0055 or email [email protected]

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April  2010

Support for businesses affected by CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

 

South London businesses affected by the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) can receive free help and support from Go Green Plus.

Businesses and organisations that consume over 6,000 MWh of half-hourly metered electricity need to comply with the CRC that came into force this month. The aim of the commitment is to reduce the level of carbon emissions produced by larger low-energy users by approximately 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2020. It’s expected to affect about 5,000 public and private organisations, covering 25% of the total business sector emissions.

Go Green Plus, run by southlondon.biz, offers 12 hours free support and advice to small and medium sized businesses in six local authority areas – Kingston, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth. Go Green Plus is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

“There are financial penalties for those that do not comply with the scheme, while organisations that perform the best could receive large bonus payments,” said Helen Clark Bell, Project Manager at Go Green Plus. “Our green business advisers can help firms cut energy bills and improve energy efficiency, helping to reduce their ongoing bills thus helping to meet the CRC.”

One business Go Green Plus advisers have worked with found its energy consumption reduced by 35%, generating financial savings of £900 for the quarter by implementing energy efficiency measures. These included replacing halogen bulbs with LEDs, introducing a switch off policy at night and installing occupancy sensors in areas infrequently used, such as toilets and storage areas.

A league table of all participants will be published annually, detailing businesses efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. In the first year the league table will be awarded on the basis of businesses early actions to tackle emissions. Organisations at the top of the table which have done the most to reduce their emissions will get a bonus of up to 10% of their base recycling payment.

“The CRC sets out a clear risk to businesses that fail to reduce their carbon emissions, in financial terms as well as their reputation with customers, employees and investors,” said Helen Clark Bell. “Customers and staff are increasingly knowledgeable about environmental issues and expect businesses to implement green initiatives. Our advisers’ free support includes developing action plans for businesses to reduce carbon emissions and improve their energy efficiency.”

Further information on Go Green Plus can be found at www.southlondon.biz and businesses interested in receiving free advice can contact southlondon.biz on 020 8947 0055 or email [email protected]

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13 April 2010

Go Green Plus provides green support wanted by FSB

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) call for more environmental advice and support for small businesses is exactly what is being provided to businesses in south London by Go Green Plus.

The service, run by southlondon.biz, offers 12 hours free support and advice to small and medium sized businesses in six local authority areas – Kingston, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth. Go Green Plus is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

A recent survey conducted amongst FSB members demonstrated that while small firms understood energy efficiency could provide cost savings within their business, more advice and support was required to help achieve this.

The survey said: “There is insufficient advice for small firms to help them understand the role they can play in the transition to a low carbon economy.”

A team of Greening Business Advisers visit businesses to review energy and water usage and waste management practices, draw up action plans and provide necessary support in implementing changes.

Helen Clark Bell, project manager said: “The programme allows businesses to implement different environmental practices, from recycling, introducing eco travel plans, to energy efficiency and water reduction measures.”

One business Go Green Plus advisers have worked with found its energy consumption reduced by 35%, generating financial savings of £900 for the quarter by implementing energy efficiency measures. These included replacing halogen bulbs with LEDs, introducing a switch off policy at night and installing occupancy sensors in areas infrequently used, such as toilets and storage areas.

“The firms we work with find the scheme works well as we provide someone who is focused on researching environmental solutions while they carry on running their business,” added Helen Clark Bell. “There’s a lot of free advice and support we can provide in 12 hours.

“We’re increasingly working with businesses who know that their customers and staff are aware of environmental issues and need to do something about this but are unsure of where to start.”

The recent work with firms has included helping a Wimbledon hotel apply for a Carbon Trust loan to install a new boiler, implementing energy efficiency measures for a Balham shop and developing a staff travel plan which will include the installation of cycle racks outside the business in Kingston.

The Go Green Plus service runs until December 2011 and is managed by southlondon.biz.  It is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The service includes information and advice on local suppliers and recycling resources, an action plan to help the business go green and save money on water, transport and utilities and on-going support from a Green Business Adviser.

Businesses interested in receiving free advice can contact southlondon.biz on 020 8947 0055 or email [email protected]

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25 MARCH 2010

Landfill Tax increase encourages businesses to seek alternatives

Businesses can get help avoiding hefty increases in Landfill Tax with Go Green Plus, a service that provides advice and support on environmental measures.

Go Green Plus, run by southlondon.biz, offers 12 hours free support and advice to small and medium sized businesses in six local authority areas – Kingston, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth. Go Green Plus is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Helen Clark Bell, Go Green Plus project manager said: “This programme allows businesses to implement different environmental practices, from recycling, introducing eco travel plans, to energy efficiency and water reduction measures.”

The Landfill Tax increases to £48 per tonne on 1 April 2010, in line with government regulations.
This means a greater incentive for businesses to look at alternatives such as recycling or anaerobic digestion, as the tax increases £8 per tonne per year until 2014.

Businesses can introduce recycling in their offices or premises, ensuring that materials such as paper, cardboard or drinks cans are diverted from landfill sites. Firms can also look at the amount of waste they produce and find ways of reducing or cutting it out completely.

“We are working with numerous businesses across the six local authority areas and many are looking at recycling and waste reduction initiatives to help save them money,” added Helen Clark Bell.

Go Green Plus advisors have a wealth of information to help businesses start recycling and reduce their waste. The advisors top five tips are:

  1. Only print when necessary
  2. Print double sided
  3. Remove individual waste bins and replace with centralised waste and recycling bins
  4. Use ceramic mugs and glasses instead of plastic or polystyrene cups
  5. Use low energy light bulbs or LEDs as they are replaced less frequently

Further information on Go Green Plus can be found at www.southlondon.biz and businesses interested in receiving free advice can contact southlondon.biz on 020 8947 0055 or email [email protected]

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3 February 2010

Valpak sponsors Go Green Plus programme

Valpak, the UK’s leading provider of compliance and recycling solutions, has teamed up with Go Green Plus as part of a sponsorship deal.

Go Green Plus offers free environmental advice to small and medium sized businesses in the London local authority areas of Wandsworth, Richmond, Kingston, Lambeth, Sutton and Merton.

Valpak and Go Green Plus will be holding a series of environmental workshops over the next 12 months, informing businesses of environmental legislation and providing practical advice on how to adopt environmental practices. The workshops will be held within the six London local authority areas over a half-day session.

Helen Clark Bell, project manager said: “It’s great to have Valpak on board supporting Go Green Plus and helping to get the environmental message out to businesses across south London.”

Duncan Simpson, Valpak Director of Sales and Marketing added:

“Valpak is pleased to be supporting Go Green Plus to help businesses become more informed of environmental matters, including recycling and waste reduction. We have a wealth of expertise in this area and we are pleased that the Go Green Plus team can pass this through to small and medium sized companies to really help them to understand what they should or could be doing, and to ensure that they are thinking about waste streams such as packaging, waste electrical equipment and electronics, batteries and waste management in general.”

Go Green Plus is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, enabling southlondon.biz to provide 12 hours of free support to businesses. The service includes information and advice on local suppliers and recycling resources, an action plan to help the business go green and save money on water, transport and utilities and on-going support from a Green Business Adviser.

Businesses interested in attending the environmental workshops or finding out more on Go Green Plus can find more information at southlondon.biz on 020 8947 0055 or email [email protected]

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10:10 Campaign
We’ve signed up to The Guardian’s 10:10 Campaign where businesses, organisations and individuals can sign up to commit to reduce 10% of their emissions in 2010. We’ll let you know what we’re doing and how we’re getting on in regular updates throughout the year. If you wish to sign up to the campaign or find out more click on 10:10

TURN YOUR OFFICE GREEN!
-Go Green’s top ten tips on how businesses can save energy and reduce waste-

southLondon.biz, the enterprise support arm of the Merton Chamber of Commerce, urges businesses to ‘Go Green’ and adopt some easy steps, to help save the environment and reduce their own running costs.

The top tips are part of a wider set of recommendations, which are given to local businesses that take part in southlondon.biz’s GoGreen service. Set up in January 2007 the service operates across the six London boroughs of Kingston, Merton, Sutton, Lambeth, Richmond and Wandsworth. It aims to educate businesses and provide support on how to operate in a more environmentally friendly way.

The ‘GoGreen’ Top Ten Tips:

  1. Open the blinds so you don’t have to use so many artificial lights in the daytime
  2. Print double sided
  3. Use recycled paper wherever possible
  4. Remove individual waste bins as people are more likely to recycle more if they have to use centralised bins
  5. Use fluorescent ceiling lights in place of individual desk lamps
  6. Monitor your electric meter in relation to your electricity bill
  7. Use mains filtered water rather than bottled water
  8. Use ceramic mugs or glasses rather than plastic or polystyrene cups
  9. Turn off computers and monitors at the end of the day – a single computer and monitor left on 24 hours a day will cost around £45 a year
  10. Place a small plastic bottle filled with water in your toilet cistern, thereby reducing the amount of water used per flush.


CEO of southlondon.biz, Diana Sterck, comments: “Many office workers don’t realise how simple but effective it is to take some of these steps. People want to help make a difference but many believe that to do so will take up lots of time and be very costly; this isn’t the case.

“By adopting a greener approach, local businesses are now reporting that by taking up the service they have made savings in their business.

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SAVE MONEY AND THE PLANET WITH THE NEW &
IMPROVED OWL WIRELESS ELECTRICITY MONITOR

Now the fight against rocketing electricity bills and climate change just got even easier with the new improved OWL wireless electricity monitor.

The stylish portable device can help save hundreds of pounds off your electricity bill by providing up to the second information on the exact amount of electricity you are using in pounds and pence. This means you can see the exact financial gain of turning off electrical devices at home. Whether it’s turning off at the plug rather than just using standby or simply turning off a light, the OWL shows you the exact cash impact of changing your behaviour, which can be hundreds of pounds for the average business.

Features included in OWL are:

  • An accumulative function which lets you see your cost accumulate over any period you choose, be it daily, weekly or monthly. You can then start to track changes over time which allows you to fine tune your energy saving strategy even better than before.
  • The new multiple tariff function means you can set your OWL to factor in a range of tariffs (Economy 7, Night-time etc) to create an even more accurate picture of your usage.
  • A much improved battery life now gives up to 24 months with the transmitter & 12 months on the display.

OWL is simple to install and usually does not require an electrician. It is clipped to the electricity supply cable, transmitting data to a portable wireless monitor which can be taken anywhere around the premises. By actually viewing the cost of the energy you are using and the effect on the environment as it happens, it’s easy to make instant changes which will not only help fight climate change but will really save you money as well.

To find out more please contact Helen at southlondon.biz on 020 8947 0055, email [email protected]

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