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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.

© Crown Copyright EN749. First printed October 2007. Printed on paper containing a minimum of 100% post-consumer waste. This material may be freely reproduced in its original form except for sale or advertising purposes.

EMBEDDING SUSTAINABILITY AT THE HEART OF ENGLISH BUSINESS PRACTICE Harwell SIC Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0QJ Email: advice@envirowise.gov.uk www.envirowise.gov.uk

ENVIROWISE 2006/7


DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

‘‘

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

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OVERVIEW WATERSHED

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

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’’

vigour and are now running

a leaner, more cost-effective operation as a result.

“Make a Pledge” event. January 2007

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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

support organisations.

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

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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

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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.

CASE STUDIES

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.

UNLOCKING SAVINGS

BUSINESS CHEMISTRY

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.

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CASE STUDIES

BUILDING BLOCKS

SWITCHED ON

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

conditioning systems.

this area.

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.

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Paul Haigney, Operations Director at Pasta King

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PROFITABLE HORIZON

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

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IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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

PRACTICAL WORKSHOPS

Attributed Cost

Attributed Cost and

Envirowise is dedicated to putting the sustainable use of

In just the last quarter alone, Envirowise has reached more

and Environmental

Environmental Savings

resources at the heart of UK business practice. Since 1994,

than 13,000 delegates through their practical resource

Savings for the UK

for England

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

£121,000,000

£98,500,000

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

11,327,162m

3

7,150,000m

3

a staggering 1300 million m3 of water every year, 3 times more water than necessary

Effluent Industrial sites in the UK spend

5,679,814m3

1,398,000m3

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

ON-SITE VISITS

wastewater and effluent

Raw materials 93% of production materials

120,783 tonnes

108,000 tonnes

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

products

on-site visits.

Energy A computer left on standby

75,789 MWh

64,000 MWh

overnight wastes enough energy to print 800 A4 sheets of paper

Waste 10 million tonnes of packaging

558,303 tonnes

373,000 tonnes

waste is produced in Britain every year, enough to fill 22,000 jumbo jets. Source: Impact assessment 2005

ATTRIBUTION

‘‘

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.

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Envirowise Programme Summary