Envirowise is funded across the UK by Defra’s Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) Programme in England, the Scottish Government in Scotland, the Materials Action Programme (MAP) in Wales and Invest Northern Ireland.
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EMBEDDING SUSTAINABILITY AT THE HEART OF ENGLISH BUSINESS PRACTICE Harwell SIC Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0QJ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.envirowise.gov.uk
A couple of years ago environmental issues rarely got
working on ways to help companies understand
national coverage. Things are certainly different
which materials give the greatest scope for reducing
today! In the last year, we have seen high profile
their carbon footprint.
statements about the environment from a number of leading retailers; the Government has announced a Climate Change Bill that will set a framework for legally binding CO2 reduction targets for the UK up to 2050; record breaking weather has made many people feel that climate change is starting to affect
We can save money by making
products with fewer natural resources and we can reduce the costs of waste treatment and disposal.
Waste is a drag on the economy and business productivity.
Improving the productivity with which
we use natural resources can generate new opportunities and jobs. Defra Waste Strategy for England 2007
our everyday lives; and an environmental documentary won an Academy Award!
There is a lot of free help and advice available to companies to help them improve their resource efficiency and reduce waste. Envirowise has been working with partner organisations funded by Defra and the Regional Development Agencies to help ensure that companies get the advice they need. One example of where this approach is particularly successful is through the support of Resource
There is no doubt that many companies want to do
Efficiency Clubs which have so far identified savings
something about the environment. The trouble is that
of £15 million for companies in England.
it is not always easy to turn this willingness into action. This is where Envirowise has helped by continuing to give practical advice to companies on actions that will make a difference. Most of these actions will not only help the environment but also will reduce costs. Indeed, companies using Envirowise in 2005 saved over £645 million.
Despite the great improvements that companies have made, there remains a lot to do. It has been calculated that we need to reduce our impact on the environment to a quarter of what the average UK resident has today. The earlier we act, the greater our chance of success. I look forward to Envirowise helping more companies to make a difference.
The financial sense of addressing environmental issues was clearly made by the Stern Report in late 2006. This has helped move the debate on climate change from arguments over whether it is happening to how much it will cost to address it. With climate change the dominant environmental issue, it is sometimes hard to see how wider resource efficiency fits in. Everything that is used in business has a ‘carbon footprint’ associated with its production and distribution. By reducing the use of materials and water, businesses are reducing their overall carbon footprint. Envirowise is currently Martin Gibson Director, Envirowise
LINK IN THE CHAIN
It is widely acknowledged that this year represented
Elsewhere in the Programme this year, the Supply Chain
a watershed for UK business when it comes to
Partnerships secured resource efficiency savings worth
acknowledging climate risk.
more than £2.5 million working with a range of high
Reassuringly, as awareness continues to rise, so do the number of businesses working with Envirowise to take sustainable action to counter these risks. Those taking action in partnership with the Programme have increased by 20% on the previous year and the figure continues to grow. Perhaps this is not surprising when you consider that UK businesses are under increasing pressure from customers and regulators alike, and many see competitive advantage from improving their performance in this area. However, there are still many businesses out there that have yet to take the first step. Research by the Programme found that only a third of SMEs surveyed had actually set activity in motion and
street retailers and their suppliers. Similarly, the Managed Shopping Centre project saw three new centres working with 100 of their retailers to identify more than £175,000 in achievable cost savings. Crucially, awareness of resource efficiency in the construction and manufacturing sectors is also on the rise according to our impact report. Measuring and reducing waste and use of other resources are firmly on the agenda and already returning savings to the bottom line. In fact we have identified as much as £13 million in potential savings following on-site visits to construction companies in the last year alone.
many others said they could only spare one day a year for this issue.
TIME IS MONEY For this reason, Envirowise continues to reach out across all corners of the UK to ensure the benefits of resource efficiency are recognised as a strategic business opportunity, with a major impact on future competitiveness. In fact, our latest research has shown that valuable time could be saved with an estimated worth of £20 million to those surveyed. Not to mention the opportunity to reduce their operational costs by on average £18,000 per year as a result of advice provided, £5,000 more than those who act alone.
Companies are targeting water efficiency, hazardous waste or
supply chain activity with equal
Companies who took up intensive services such as on-site visits saved an average of £50,000 with more than £42 million in cost savings identified overall. Feedback was also excellent for the accessibility of expertise available via the less-intensive Envirowise website and helpline channels.
Source: Envirowise Impact Assessment 2005
vigour and are now running
a leaner, more cost-effective operation as a result.
“Make a Pledge” event. January 2007
LEANER BUSINESS FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Uncertainty regarding the price of raw materials and security of energy supply has increased pressure on manufacturers in particular. Meanwhile the release of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change has added financial urgency to the call for a systematic reduction of UK industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. A key element of Stern’s strategy for sustainable growth is to remove the barriers to information on how to best counter climate risk. This is where Envirowise is using its resource efficiency expertise to communicate to the business community that action is almost certainly less costly than inaction when it comes to tackling waste in all its forms.
identified potential savings of more than £800,000, after
Publication of the 2007 Waste Strategy for England adds
working together with Envirowise and other local business
further momentum for change. Companies are already
coping with the challenges of rising landfill tax and tighter restrictions on areas such as packaging. But Envirowise specialists are working to ensure that these challenges are both acknowledged and grasped as commercial opportunities too.
Similarly, Cut Waste - Improve Competitiveness (CW-IC) is made up of more than 160 companies from across Northamptonshire who have revealed more then £500,000 savings after attending best practice seminars and training courses throughout the year. Envirowise provided on-site
One way they are doing this is by ensuring the hierarchy of
visits which allowed companies to formulate their own
resources is understood and put into practice - often before
tailored action plans.
a product or process has even left the drawing board.
Envirowise is using its resource efficiency
certainly less costly than inaction when it comes to
And we have seen numerous individual examples of
For example, some companies are working with Envirowise
companies committed to change - such as those who
to re-design a product or product packaging to take
got involved in our second annual One Bin Day event in
advantage of material and cost reductions. Others are
February 2007. Interviews on television and radio, plus
targeting water efficiency, hazardous waste or supply chain
extensive press coverage, helped to motivate companies to
activity with equal vigour and are now running a leaner,
take action on the day.
expertise to communicate that action is almost tackling business waste in all its forms.
more cost-effective operation as a result. See the case studies on page 9.
Hawker Electronics in the West Midlands was one of the participants. Established in 1964, the company provides
But if the UK is going to achieve its target of an annual
level measurement equipment for monitoring and controlling
9.3 million tonnes CO2 reduction via waste management,
processes across a range of industry sectors. They have
local businesses must also be encouraged to take action at
seen first-hand the pressures the UK is facing in terms
a grass roots level. To help them get ahead, Envirowise has
of waste disposal as they are involved in leachate monitoring
used its expertise to support the growing regional network
at various landfill sites.
‘One Bin Day’ 2007
of Resource Efficiency Clubs across England. In total this initiative has identified more than £15 million in savings since the scheme began.
On One Bin Day they encouraged their 28 members of staff to re-assess how they dispose of office waste in particular. People found that once their desk bin was removed, they
For example, the Hertfordshire Resource Efficiency Club is
had to think twice about whether the item in their hand was
made up of 36 companies from across the county who have
really waste - or could be re-used or recycled.
Sources: Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, HM Treasury; Defra 2007 Departmental Report, Chapter Two: Tackling Climate Change; Defra Waste Strategy for England 2007, Executive Summary
INNOVATING FOR COMPLIANCE UNPACKING SAVINGS
Envirowise’s well attended regional workshops and a good
High profile consumer and media campaigns have put
the commercial and environmental benefits of the plans,
retail packaging waste in the headlines during 2006/7.
such as minimising waste and cutting costs at source.
practice guide have been helping businesses understand
The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations and the Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Obligations are also providing businesses with a legal driver for change.
DESIGNS ON EFFICIENCY Product designers and manufacturers will have a key role to
Envirowise continues to work closely with designers and manufacturers to optimise packaging designs, limit raw
play in helping the UK secure the low-carbon economy set out in the Government’s draft Climate Change Bill.
material use and secure valuable cost savings. Electronics
OUT OF THE BOX Working with Envirowise’s cleaner design specialists, computer electronics company Belkin examined the way it was packing a wireless network card and found a way to
manufacturer Belkin identified potential savings of more
UK businesses will be required to ‘design-in’ resource
than £650,000 this year by re-designing the packaging on
efficiency measures at every stage of the product life-cycle
one of its popular product lines, with help from Envirowise.
when the EU’s Energy Using Products (EuP) Directive comes into force later in 2007. Those involved in the manufacture of electrical products - such as domestic appliances, consumer electronics, and office equipment
reduce this by 50% - cutting material usage and presenting potential cost savings of as much as £680,000 per year. If this prototype is put into production, the result would be significant reductions to environmental impact, saving an estimated 18,000kg of paper and 2,400kg of plastic within a year, not to mention reducing annual CO2 emissions by more than 100 tonnes. Crucially, it would also double their transport efficiency and enable retailers to place twice as many products in the same shelf space - with real commercial benefits.
- have been talking to Envirowise to review product specifications and ensure cleaner design is high on the management agenda.
West Midlands lock system manufacturer Fortress Interlocks saved £1.25 million after trialling a ‘cleaner’ design approach on a number of its product lines, with
Preparing for the arrival of the REACH (Registration,
help from Envirowise.
Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) Regulations
The company replaced its original KeyGard product with mGard, reducing the
in June 2007 has been prompting chemical and
BUILDING AWARENESS The UK construction sector has become a focus for sustainability and this will gain further momentum as development for the 2012 Olympics and initiatives such as the Government’s ‘eco towns’ take shape. Envirowise is taking a lead on best practice in the sector by rolling out a package of advice on Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs). These plans could become mandatory for all construction projects in England over £250,000 next year - and at the very least will be considered essential best practice before long.
number of core components from 350 to just 23. Brass forgings and machined
pharmaceutical manufacturers to consider substituting
components were replaced with pressings and die cast zinc alloy parts. This
hazardous substances with replacement materials.
reduced the weight of the product and generates less manufacturing waste. The new product is now 100% recyclable due to the improved separation capacity of the new zinc and stainless steel parts. The life of the product was
The regulations represent a major shift for the chemicals
also greatly improved - with more than one million operations guaranteed.
sector and Envirowise is helping firms to manage the impact by building awareness of the principles of green chemistry. Green Chemistry describes the process of designing chemical products and processes with the reduction or elimination of hazardous substance use in mind. Applying
CUTTING WASTE AT SOURCE Northumberland-based Shasun Pharma Solutions Ltd has already saved more
Green Chemistry principles can improve resource efficiency
than £72,000 through a combination of elimination of waste at source from batch
and lead to significant commercial benefits, including the
processes, improved hazardous waste collection and adopting Cleaning-In-Place
savings associated with reduced waste treatment and disposal costs.
(CIP) technology. A further £150,000 of potential savings has also been identified by the company, which provides custom development and manufacturing processes to the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. Much of this progress has been made as part of the company’s Periodical Process Reviews, described as an ‘essential management tool’ by Jon Cummins, Manufacturing Technical Manager.
The six-strong English Construction team delivers a variety of commercial and
Warwickshire-based Savawatt designs and manufactures electricity regulators
domestic building services. In 2006 they topped the Envirowise Waste Minimisation
used by commercial and household items, such as fridge freezers and air
category at the Master Builder of the Year Awards, by demonstrating best practice in
Working with Envirowise, the company implemented a lower-cost, more
The business will only work with suppliers who agree to take back surplus supplies.
straightforward design for one of its key product lines. It now requires less welding
Plus a concrete crusher is used on-site to crush down any unused concrete, which is
and wiring – meaning that each unit is now £12 cheaper to manufacture. Cost
then re-used as hardcore. An internal resource efficiency ‘champion’ ensures waste
savings have been in the region of £18,000 over an 18 month period.
minimisation is central to all business operations, including taking responsibility for
Another of SavaWatt’s control products has been reworked to feature lighter casing,
the segregation, re-use and reduction of waste.
which requires fewer raw materials. The company is now working to improve this
The company is also getting ahead of the game by voluntarily adopting Site Waste
design still further, and the next stage will involve a PCB which slots into the casing
Management Plans (SWMP) ahead of their planned enforcement in 2007.
rather than being manually fixed – reducing assembly time and enabling the product to be more reusable and recyclable at the end of its life.
GOOD CHEMISTRY Through the implementation of a systematic programme of water reduction, pharmaceutical manufacturer Genzyme Ltd has made estimated total savings of £50,000 in two years. The plant, based in Suffolk, is a serious water-user with a daily consumption equivalent to that of 600 households. Genzyme saw that the cost of water to the business was much more than the £1 per tonne purchase price, as the purification process it needs to go through adds an additional £10 per tonne. Through the process of measuring and monitoring, and the installation of new equipment, the company has reduced consumption by 20%.
TASTE THE DIFFERENCE Devon-based catering supplier Pasta King made waste reduction a fundamental element of its recent process improvement programme. Their food preparation consists of blending pasta sauces and packaging the finished products ready for supply to caterers. Tomato sauce was previously purchased in 3 kg steel tins, resulting in a high packaging to product ratio and difficulties in cleaning the tins, which prohibited recycling. As a result, over 217,000 tins were landfilled in 2004. After negotiations with its supplier, the company began to purchase the sauce inside plastic liners within 195kg steel tins - enabling the ‘clean’ drums to be easily sent
The next step in the programme is the installation of an integrated water recovery
off-site for recycling and saving around £33,000 in the first year alone. In addition, the
system, in conjunction with the conversion of the building to produce a new
lower packaging to sauce ratio has allowed a greater quantity to be supplied in a single
form of the current product. Utilising membrane technology the system will be designed to recover up to 80% of the water used in the process.
WELL CATERED FOR Strattons is a small independent boutique hotel that has worked with the Envirowise programme to improve resource efficiency. The hotel took a holistic view of its environmental impact and implemented a range of changes across its site. These included having refillable soap pumps in rooms instead of disposable toiletry items (to reduce plastic bottle wastage), and successfully reusing ‘grey’ water from the kitchens to water the gardens.
load - reducing transport costs. This saved six articulated lorry loads in one year.
We made a commitment to becoming more
resource efficient and we are now reaping the benefits. For instance, changing the format of our supplier packaging has transformed the
impact our business has on the environment. I would definitely advise other companies to
look into making similar waste reduction plans. By implementing these actions as part of a strict environmental policy, Strattons is successfully preventing 6.3 tonnes of waste from going into the landfill each year, and is enjoying savings of more than £8,000 annually.
Paul Haigney, Operations Director at Pasta King
CATCHING EVERY DROP
Across the Programme we have begun 2007/8 in anticipation of a year of strong
In the last year, some parts of the UK have seen both
progress towards securing sustainable profits for UK business.
the driest and wettest months on record, highlighting the
With the launch of the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes and consultation over Site Waste Management Plans ongoing, minimising the environmental impact of intensive construction and development activity will be paramount. Envirowise will be working closely with industry to move towards Defra’s target of halving the amount of construction waste going to landfill by 2012, through waste reduction, re-use and recycling. Our Cleaner Design services and Product Dismantling workshops will help ensure
increasingly unpredictable nature of water supply and demand. Through all weathers, Envirowise has been helping industry to manage these changes by ensuring they are using water as efficiently as possible. This results in less water going to waste and reveals cost savings which go straight to the bottom line. In fact impact assessment data has shown that Envirowise
that eco design requirements are built into products from the outset. This will
support was considered ‘essential’ in almost 8 million m3 of
contribute to future legislation requirements including the Energy Using Products
water being saved in the last 12 months. And the financial
Directive, encouraging companies to build in a competitive edge to their product
impact of this is vast when you consider the reduction in
design for the longer term.
both water supply costs and waste water disposal charges. On a national scale, Envirowise’s water efficiency programme hit the headlines in August 2006 with the creation of an Underwater Office at the London Aquarium designed to publicise the issue. The associated media activity reached readers of more than 110 press articles and secured press coverage worth more than £200,000.
On a national scale, Envirowise’s
Big Splash campaign activity continues to achieve notable water saving figures including potential cost reductions from one smelting plant of £70,000 related to cooling system alterations, plus a glass manufacturer investigating £54,000
water efficiency programme hit the headlines in August 2006 with the
creation of an Underwater Office
at the London Aquarium designed to
Product design seminar, Cambridge 2006
potential savings through water and evaporation reduction.
In the retail sector we will also be encapsulating the knowledge and experience
In addition, the package of water efficiency advice has been
gathered through our Supply Chain and Managed Shopping Centre activity into two
extended to include a series of practical new factsheets
business toolkits which will be trialed and released in the year ahead. It is hoped this
available via our website or advice line. These provide
As sponsors of the Water Efficiency Awards we have been
will allow a larger number of companies to benefit from the best practice approaches
straightforward advice on minimising water usage across a
recognising innovation in this area too. In 2006 we awarded
shared by participants over the last few years.
range of ‘domestic’ areas including toilets, taps, showers,
Swansea car washing company, Pitstop, the Envirowise
laundries and catering facilities.
Industry and Business Award for their introduction of a reed
Crucially, Envirowise would like to see a greater number of businesses turning
publicise the issue.
beds filtration system to aid recycling of ‘used’ water and
talk into real action to reduce their environmental impact. This year only 33% of
The Food & Drink and Hospitality sectors continue to show
companies surveyed by Envirowise had actually set activity in motion to reduce
a significant interest in this topic, both via the sector media
their resource use - next year we would like to see this figure much higher.
and industry partnerships. Our role on Defra’s Food Industry
We also continue to encourage innovation via the Water
Not surprisingly, when asked what the barrier had been to action, most businesses
Sustainability Strategy (FISS) Water Champions Group
Technology List (WTL) which allows businesses to claim
cited the need for investment of time and money. Our challenge is to make sure even
means we can contribute to policy making on this topic and
up–front tax relief on the capital cost of water efficient
more businesses benefit from the cost and time saving potential of working with
work closely with our partner programmes to disseminate
equipment, delivering a valuable cash flow boost - as well
Envirowise to turn resource efficiency into a more sustainable future for all.
learnings to business.
as long term cost savings.
reduce their mains water usage by 60% a year.
Sources: Envirowise Impact Assessment 2005; Envirowise Senior Decision Maker Survey, May 2007; Defra Waste Strategy for England 2007, Executive Summary
SUMMARY OF SERVICES
Table of new annual cost and environmental savings achieved through resource efficiency measures implemented by English companies in 2005 and attributed to support from Envirowise.
Cost savings Many businesses spend up
EXPERTISE AT HAND
Attributed Cost and
Envirowise is dedicated to putting the sustainable use of
In just the last quarter alone, Envirowise has reached more
resources at the heart of UK business practice. Since 1994,
than 13,000 delegates through their practical resource
Savings for the UK
we have helped UK businesses save over £1bn by enabling
efficiency workshops and attendance at partner events.
them to significantly reduce their environmental footprints.
New this year has been a dedicated seminar programme on
to 4% of their turnover generating waste
the impacts and opportunities of Site Waste Management
The Envirowise Advice Line 0800 585794
Plans for the construction sector - helping companies stay
The first point of contact for free, confidential advice on
ahead of the game.
business resource efficiency.
Water UK industry and commerce use
a staggering 1300 million m3 of water every year, 3 times more water than necessary
Effluent Industrial sites in the UK spend
RESOURCE EFFICIENCY CLUBS
www.envirowise.gov.uk Resource Efficiency Clubs provide local forums for peerMore than 550,000 users took advantage of our
to-peer support and sharing best environmental practice.
encyclopaedic website this year, an annual increase of 15%.
Envirowise supports more than 100 clubs across the UK
Valuable and relevant information includes best practice
and to date has helped them to identify collective savings
guides, case studies, interactive tools, legislation updates
of more than £15 million.
and a calendar of topical events.
up to 3% of their turnover on the treatment and disposal of
wastewater and effluent
Raw materials 93% of production materials
do not end up in saleable
This year, hundreds of businesses have benefited from an expert eye on the environmental impact of their operations. In fact, Envirowise advisors have helped companies identify potential savings of more than £46 million as a result of
Energy A computer left on standby
overnight wastes enough energy to print 800 A4 sheets of paper
Waste 10 million tonnes of packaging
waste is produced in Britain every year, enough to fill 22,000 jumbo jets. Source: Impact assessment 2005
So from the biggest challenges to the simplest steps being taken to tackle them, it is clear that everyone has a part to play in countering the risk from climate change.
Savings achieved have been attributed to Envirowise based on the amount of help businesses feel they received from Envirowise.