Sustainable development

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Many companies think of energy as a fixed overhead but saving energy is actually one of the easiest ways to reduce costs and improve your reputation.

Reducing the amount of energy you use is one of the fastest and most effective ways to save your business money.

Calderdale Council can help with practical advice on efficiency and renewable energy. We can also provide up to date information on the current support available as well as opportunities within the emerging low carbon economy.

Two initiatives have been launched to provide this support:

A free accreditation and advice scheme available to local businesses that want to demonstrate their commitment to contributing towards the regions goal of 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. Introduced by Calderdale Energy Future, the Award provides direct 1-1 support to help you achieve your aspirations;

A forum where local businesses can share experiences with each other, gain expert advice and create new opportunities. The Club provides practical solutions to enable your business to identify and realise financial savings, growth opportunities and carbon reductions.

Flexible energy solutions for Calderdale based businesses

The Council recently joined up with Orchard Energy to set up an energy collective - 6C. By combining the buying power of businesses and public services within Calderdale, we have negotiated a plan to purchase directly from energy companies to provide our local business users with some of the lowest priced energy in the UK.

Working to reduce energy bills and lower consumption, we are taking high energy costs off the agenda. Bringing the benefits that larger businesses have had for a number of years to every business, we are increasing buying power in the energy market.

Buy together, save together - Council backed - Managed by a Calderdale based energy team.

For more information on this initiative visit: Big Six Calderdale

Addressing energy issues has a number of business advantages, including:

  • Improving your competitive edge: financial savings can be made through reduced energy costs;
  • Enhancing your reputation: investors and customers are attracted to companies and organisations with a strong record of environmental performance;
  • Increasing staff motivation: staff will often feel proud to work for an environmentally responsible employer;
  • Complying with legislation: government drivers such as the Climate Change Levy and the Carbon Reduction Commitment are having an increasing influence on business energy use. Take action now so that your organisation is ready for the challenges of the future;
  • Protecting the environment: reducing energy consumption plays a key role in tackling climate change.

There are plenty of suggestions within these pages to help save your business money.

Energy saving tips for businesses

Reducing the amount of energy you use is one of the fastest and most effective ways to save your business money. Here are some general ideas on how your business can save money.

Good housekeeping

  • Encourage staff to switch off lights in unoccupied areas or where daylight is adequate. You could cut your lighting costs by as much as 15%, just by making sure you turn lights off in rooms and corridors that aren’t being used.
  • Make sure windows and skylights are clean and free from obstructions to make maximum use of daylight.
  • Turn off interior display lighting out of hours.
  • Label switches clearly so that lights can easily be turned off in unwanted areas.
  • Computer screens, photocopiers and printers should be turned off when not in use and base units turned off at the mains overnight.
  • Check that doors and windows are not left open unnecessarily in winter.
  • Check taps are not dripping or left running.
  • Check room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves are on the correct settings.

Heating systems

  • Turning down the thermostat by 1oC can reduce your annual heating bill by 8-10%.
  • Keep furniture clear of heaters and radiators so that heating is not obstructed.
  • If you have fan heaters, are the internal filters clean? Dirty filters lead to loss of heat output with consequently longer running times.
  • Set your heating to match occupancy: use timers to preheat buildings in good time for occupancy, avoid heating unused areas and make sure the building is not heated when not in use.
  • Check boilers and thermostats – serviced boilers can save up to 10% on heating costs.
  • Make sure you know where all the time switches are and make sure they are set to the correct time and correct day.
  • Reduce 'on' times where you can.
  • Make sure that the heating isn’t too hot in mild weather or too cold in severe weather.

Hot water systems

  • Can the hours of availability of hot water be reduced?
  • If electricity is used to heat water, can it be done on a cheap rate tariff at night?
  • Check the insulation around pipework and tanks and replace any damaged or missed sections.

Lighting systems

  • Can lighting levels be reduced? Switch off or dim unnecessary lights.
  • Don’t use more light than you need. If you’re only working in one part of the room, why have all the lights on?
  • Clean and check diffusers and reflectors.
  • Use the most energy efficient bulbs available. If you have fluorescent tube lighting, replacing T12 tubes with T8s will reduce the lighting energy demand by 10%.

Compressed air systems

  • Can the pressure be lowered? Check the requirements of your equipment and tools (reducing pressure by 10% can lead to a 5% energy saving). Make small, incremental reductions, checking that operations are not affected.
  • Power delivered by compressed air is convenient but expensive – are there cheaper alternatives for some jobs?
  • Turn compressors off during breaks and when not required (an idling compressor uses around 40% of its full load).
  • Can power be delivered more efficiently? For instance, fitting a venture-type nozzle can use 30% less compressed air.

Water savings

  • Make sure you know where your water meter is. Regular meter readings can help you locate underground leaks before too much has been wasted.
  • Make sure urinals don’t flush through the night. Devices which prevent urinals from wasting water can pay for themselves in a few months.
  • Check overflow pipes and cisterns for running water.

Other ideas

  • Why not have an energy champion within your organisation to take responsibility and promote energy efficiency in your business?
  • Financial support may be available to help you achieve some of these ideas. See 'Financial support' below.

Environmental Management Systems

An Environmental Management System (EMS) assesses your business's strengths and weaknesses and helps you identify and manage significant environmental impacts. An EMS makes you money by increasing efficiency and demonstrates your environmental credentials to your customers. It will also ensure you comply with environmental legislation avoiding a bad reputation and costly fines.

Calderdale Council adopted an EMS in 2009 and helps us to prevent pollution and improve our environmental performance. For more details, see: Environmental policy and reports and Environmental Management System . As we have a significant environmental impact within the community and to be fully transparent we elected for a certified EMS and are accredited to ISO14001.

A certified EMS may not be required for every business and depends on your size, sector and customer expectations. For businesses that want to demonstrate their environmental commitments but find the cost of a fully certified scheme too high, Calderdale Council in partnership with  Calderdale's energy future has developed a unique local environmental accreditation called the Environmental business award .

The following provide more information about EMS accreditation schemes:

  • Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) - a not-for-profit organisation established to promote best practice standards in environmental management, auditing and assessment.
  • Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) - a voluntary scheme for industry introduced by the European Commission (EC) in 1993. Its aim is to promote on-going improvements in the environmental performance of companies and the provision of environmental information to the public.
  • BSI Global - the National Standards Body of the UK, British Standards is among the world’s leading providers of standards and standards products. Provides detailed information on ISO 14001, the international accreditation scheme for environmental management systems.
  • ISO/TC207 - the International Organisation for Standardisation formed Technical Committee 207 on Environmental Management in 1993. The scope of the committee is: 'standardization in the field of environmental management tools and systems,' based on the philosophy that improving management practices is the best way to improve the environmental performance of organizations and their products. Frequently asked questions on ISO 14001.

Financial support

In addition to the benefits which you will reap from being energy efficient, your business may qualify for funding to help finance energy efficiency measures.

Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA)

The Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA) scheme enables your organisation to claim 100% first-year capital allowances on eligible plant and machinery, providing your business pays Corporation Tax or Income Tax. There are three schemes under the ECA:

  • energy-saving plant and machinery
  • low-emission cars, and natural gas and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure
  • water conservation plant and machinery.

Businesses may write off the whole of the capital cost of their investment in these technologies against their taxable profits in the period during which they make the investment.

Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The new RHI scheme is available for non-domestic renewable heat installations encouraging the uptake of technologies such as Biomass, Ground Source Heat Pumps and Solar Thermal.

Feed-in Tariff (FIT)

The FIT scheme is available through licensed electricity suppliers. The scheme is intended to encourage the uptake of small-scale low carbon technologies up to 5MW, through tariff payments made on both generation and export of produced renewable energy.

Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust offers energy efficiency loans to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been trading for at least 12 months, loans are from from £1,000 all unsecured and repayable over 5 years for most projects. New technologies can be supported through the Carbon Trust's Entrepreneur Fast Track Fund for innovative technologies aimed at the UK market.

Reducing waste

Don't let waste compromise your business. The inefficient use of raw materials, packaging and technology could be costing you thousands of pounds in lost revenue, and ruining your competitive edge.

All businesses, even very small firms, can look for cost savings and reduce their environmental impact by reusing, recycling and recovering packaging:

Reduce

  • Buy only what you need. Think stock control and how to streamline processes across departments.
  • Buy recycled paper.
  • Purchase products without excessive packaging whenever possible.
  • Choose photocopiers and printers with double sided printing capacity.
  • Ask staff and colleagues to 'think before they throw'. Someone else may be able to use their old items.
  • Share resources in the office where possible - does everyone need their own stapler, glue etc?
  • Only print documents when you have to and, if you do, print on both sides of the paper.
  • Add a message to the bottom of all your emails which says "Don't print this email out unless absolutely necessary" to encourage colleagues and customers to think before they print.
  • If you have a water fountain or cooler, bring in your own glass or bottle and keep refilling this rather than using disposable plastic cups, which can be hard to recycle.

Reuse

  • Refill toner and ink jet cartridges rather than buying new ones.
  • Use waste/scrap paper as note paper. Start a scrap paper box in your office and encourage staff and colleagues to use this for memos and notes rather than a fresh piece of paper.
  • Reuse Jiffy bags and envelopes.
  • Reuse envelopes for internal mail circulation.
  • Reuse cardboard boxes for deliveries or packages.
  • Reuse files, plastic wallets and document folders as often as you can.
  • Use rechargeable batteries when possible.
  • Donate surplus / unwanted office furniture to other departments, or to charity or voluntary groups.

Recycle

Starting up recycling collections from your business can be easy. Talk to your current waste contractors as they will often be able to offer you recycling services that are cost neutral or even cost less than your current arrangement, with many offering flexible collections to suit your company's needs. Savings will continue to increase as the cost of waste disposal through landfill rises in the future.

Alternatively, there are many separate companies around that specialise in recycling business waste. Contact the Green Business Network for a list of companies in your area.

Unused land

If you own empty land, make positive use of it. Turn it into a wildlife garden or create a pond, make links with your local community or school and get them involved in doing the work or allow them to use it for educational purposes or recreation.

For advice or help contact:

  • Username Countryside Services
  • Email countryside@calderdale.gov.uk
  • Telephone 01422 288001
  • Address
    Calderdale Countryside Team
    Spring Hall Mansion
    Huddersfield Road
    Halifax
    HX3 0AQ

Workplace travel plans

A Travel Plan is a package of measures which aims to reduce the number of car journeys that people make, by providing them with a greater choice of attractive travel options. This is achieved by:

  • providing realistic alternatives to lone driving (also known as ‘single occupancy car use’);
  • making these alternatives more attractive;
  • reducing people’s need to travel, for example through flexible working practices.

A workplace travel plan can address any or all of the following:

  • commuter journeys
  • business travel
  • fleet management
  • visitors to sites
  • deliveries.

Why have a Travel Plan?

  • save money on the cost of running a fleet of vehicles, on mileage claims and other staff travel costs;
  • reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change;
  • improve staff health and well-being by encouraging modes of travel that promote fitness and relieve stress, leading to better morale and productivity levels;
  • reduce parking space demand;
  • improve accessibility to sites for staff (aiding recruitment and retention), customers and deliveries; reduce congestion on and around sites;
  • combat local pollution from traffic fumes, creating a better environment for people working and living in the area
  • Calderdale Council requires that new developments (over a certain size) implement a Travel Plan. This is a policy within the Unitary Development Plan. For the full policy text, a guide on how to meet the requirements and the assessment criteria contact:

  • Username Environmental Management
  • Email environment@calderdale.gov.uk
  • Telephone 01422 392250
  • Address
    Environmental Management Team
    Housing, Environment and Renewal
    Town Hall
    PO Box 51
    Halifax
    HX1 1TP

West Yorkshire Travel Plan Network

The West Yorkshire Travel Plan Network is a free-to-join network of organisations committed to reducing the impact of the staff commute and business travel. The benefits of membership include an entitlement to offer staff a 15% discount on the cost of annual public transport tickets. Contact the Network to find out more about how to join.