Environmental efficiency

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Looking for ways at reducing your company’s carbon footprint? Business Link environmental adviser Martin Woods has a few ideas

Any ambitious business from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that’s looking for the best ways to cut costs, improve efficiency and reduce its environmental impact now has special access to a unique service that can help it achieve all three goals.

Business Link environmental adviser Martin Woods explains: “I am one of a team of environmental specialists, working right across Cornwall, whose only job is to help the county’s businesses overcome the environmental challenges they face.

“This might involve reducing damaging emissions from an industrial site, helping a small company invest in renewable energy, enabling greater efficiency in production operations, cutting back on waste, developing green business ideas – or a mix of all the above and more.”

Under the unique programme funded by the Convergence programme, Woods and his colleagues bring Cornish businesses the benefits of their expertise. As he continues: “The fact that we’re dedicated to Cornwall and its businesses is a very important consideration for us. Not only is it one of the most special landscapes on Earth, it’s also home to countless fantastic, imaginative businesses that are a genuine pleasure to work with.”

At the heart of the team’s service is the unique ‘baseline review’, an in-depth assessment of the business that identifies, monitors and measures all those addressable areas that are costing it an unnecessary amount of money. The areas touched by this aspect of the service are wide-ranging, with a particular focus on achieving reduced utility bills, covering heating and air-conditioning, lighting, refrigeration, insulation, water use, waste disposal and more.

“The fact that we’re dedicated to Cornwall and its businesses is a very important consideration for us”

“Unnecessary expense may be due to many factors, from the use of inefficient production techniques to something as simple as a water leak,” says Woods.

“After the assessment, we then create a tailored programme to solve the problems we uncover, guide them through the process and introduce expert suppliers who can help them put in place the solutions that will save them money, enable them to become more competitive and achieve their business goals more easily.”

Many Cornish businesses have already benefited from this aspect of the service, but the available support extends significantly more widely as well. For example, Woods and his colleagues can help with devising environmental policies and practices, as well as winning tenders. On

this last point, he says: “It’s becoming increasingly important for businesses tendering for contracts to have good environmental credentials, because large private and public sector organisations are demanding them in their supply chains. This is particularly important for any business hoping to be eligible for the vast number of upcoming opportunities springing from the 2012 Olympics.

“Having the right policies in place is a vital consideration in this, and we can help any business write a tailored environmental policy as well as how best to communicate their green credentials.

We can also support them in preparing for and putting in place the appropriate quality and environmental management systems that so many large organisations are looking for, including ISO14001.”

www.businesslink.gov.uk/southwest