Waste for landfill.

Tips for a greener future

Published:  17 September, 2009

BRISTOL: Against the backdrop of a tough economic climate, NetRegs is urging the industry to continue its good progress.  Improving environmental practices does not need to cost money and can improve profit margins. 

Many companies in the supply chain now include specific environmental questions in their tender forms, so building measures into a business plan and training staff to consider their environmental impact can actually result in winning more work.

Strategy manager Debbie Chatting is campaigning for all businesses to nominate a ‘Green Ambassador' responsible for reducing environmental impact, and urges construction SMEs to follow her top tips for a greener business future:

1.     Make one member of staff responsible for environmental issues - and support them.  Suggest that they make a list of all the areas where the business can reduce its impact.

2.     Use NetRegs.gov.uk to carry out an online self assessment for your business.  This will help to identify particular areas in need of improvement and also help you to stay compliant with the law by highlighting what regulations apply to your company.

3.     Implement an environmental policy, which clearly outlines your targets.  You can use your list as a starting point.  This is often asked for by companies during tender processes, so it's a good ‘extra' to mention when bidding for business.

4.     Encourage all members of staff to take environmental policies seriously - the more support you have, the better the results will be.  NetRegs has found that construction businesses implementing environmental measures often have a more motivated workforce.

Debbie Chatting.

5.     Put some measurements in place to see what difference your new behaviour is having, year on year.  For example, look at your energy unit consumption on your energy bill.  You can cut it down by ensuring all staff turn off their PC monitors, lights and appliances overnight.

6.     Carry out a waste audit.  Make sure that you are recycling your waste or that your waste contractor is sorting and pre-treating your waste on your behalf.  NetRegs.gov.uk has a directory of licensed waste contractors to help you find one near to you.

7.     Use NetRegs.gov.uk for clear and free guidance on the latest environmental legislation and sign up for free monthly updates on changing regulations.  NetRegs' free updates save businesses around £2600 a year. 

 The recent SME-nvironment survey by environmental guidance website NetRegs.gov.uk revealed that 40% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in construction have introduced practical measures aimed at reducing their environmental impact.

Although this remains the lowest of any industrial sector, increases in the number improving energy efficiencies suggest that the sector is making strides to reduce its impact.

Water recycling system.

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