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Why ‘green’ is good for business

Small businesses can make big savings from environmental action

The Environment Agency called for businesses to back World Environment Day and save money and the environment in three easy steps:

1. Switch off office equipment and lighting at night and when not in use

2. Organise and promote a car-sharing scheme, with car parking
spaces reserved for car-sharers

3. Use double-sided printing for printers and copiers/use recycled
paper

Over a year, these simple actions would not only prevent acres of trees from being felled and reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, but they can also help businesses to save hundreds of pounds on their electricity and stationery bills.

Typical savings could include:
– long-term energy bill savings of 30% in most sectors when switching off office equipment and lighting at night and when not in use
– save £65 per year by replacing 10 normal lightbulbs with energy efficient ones, that use 75% less electricity, provide the same amount of light and last up to ten times longer.
– save up to 50% on paper costs for printers and copiers
– there are currently more than 10 million empty seats on UK roads every day, car-sharing not only reduces emissions of carbon dioxide – it is also an effective way of saving money and reducing congestion. A 10% increase in car occupancy would result in a 9% reduction in traffic

These actions are amongst the twelve pledges that businesses can sign up to for World Environment Day 2005. Last year over 12,000 people signed up to one or more pledges and in a year they saved over 100 million litres of water, reduced of carbon dioxide emissions by one million kg and cleared half a million plastic bags from the environment. This year the Environment Agency hopes to beat these targets and is urging all businesses to take part too.

Sir John Harman, Environment Agency Chairman says: “Businesses consume vast amounts of energy in the course of a normal working day; paper and plastic, electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. World Environment Day is a perfect opportunity for them to try and replenish some of the resources they use up. The pledges are very simple for even the smallest company and will save money too”.

To find out more about the World Environment Day campaign and to make a pledge visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/wed

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