Green Business online Resource Efficiency Tool Can save €thousands for SMEs
Green Business is a free and confidential resource efficiency service for all types of SMEs in Ireland. The service is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the National Waste Prevention Programme with the objective of delivering substantive resource efficiency improvements and cost savings, through waste prevention and reductions in water and energy consumption.
In October 2016, Green Business launched an online Resource Efficiency Tool. The Tool for REsource Efficiency (TREE), allows businesses to carry out a quick assessment of their current business practices and takes less than 15 minutes to complete. In return, businesses will receive a tailor- made report with suggestions for more efficient management of energy, water and materials within their business. Businesses will also receive a Resource Efficiency Score which reflects the level of Resource Efficiency awareness and practices in the company.
According to James Hogan, Programme Manager with Green Business Programme,
“The tool can be used by companies of all sizes, but was designed specifically for small businesses who may not have the resources in-house to carry out an assessment of the Resource Efficiency of the business. Over 90% of Irish businesses have 10 or fewer employees and need assistance with identifying opportunities for reducing waste, improving efficiency and thereby reducing utility and material costs”
Over the last 10 years the Green Business Programme, which is a free service for business funded under the NWPP has identified over €10 million worth of savings for businesses. Savings identified have ranged from €250,000 in one business to €2,000 in another. Regardless of the size of the savings, the impacts of resource efficiency and cost reduction are important for all business sizes.
Green Business recently worked with 12 small retailers including newsagents, petrol stations and pharmacies. The average utility cost savings identified per store was €6,700/ annum. Many of these cost saving opportunities could be exploited at little or no cost. Simple measures recommended included; setting fridges at the optimum temperature, avoiding heating and cooling at the same time (to avoid a temperature battle), installing LED lights, segregating waste to minimize landfill, and shopping around for the best price for electricity and waste management.
Retailers were quick to point out that reducing utility cost by €6,700/ annum was equivalent to increasing sales by €67,000, when there is a 10% profit margin.
Green Business has seen first-hand that retailers and other small business owners are generally too busy managing core business tasks to focus on waste prevention. Many small businesses are not monitoring utility consumption and costs, and therefore are not aware of the opportunities to reduce costs.
By completing the Green Business TREE, SMEs have the potential to improve efficiency and reduce costs, thereby improving the sustainability of their business, increasing profitability, and in turn, securing jobs through a circular economy.
The Tool for REsource Efficiency is available on the Green Business website: http://greenbusiness.ie/sme-efficiency-and-cost-reduction-questionnaire/
Sample Savings Achieved by Green Business assisted companies.