Small firms can cash in by going green

The research goes on to show that one SME in five firms cites the preconditions for public procurement as a reason to adopt an environmental management system according to the European Commission report into ‘SMEs, Resources Efficiency and Green Markets’.

Firms without a ‘green policy’ could find themselves ineligible for these contracts even if they able to compete on price and quality. Energy and utilities firm Utilitywise says little time and effort is required by SMEs wanting to put green measures in place.

The savings from each of these measures and the payback time are set out in a customised plan that allows firms to prioritise energy saving projects with the best return on investment.

An Energy Audit covers:
• Building fabrication.
• Heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
• Water use.
• Lighting.
• All electrical systems including machinery.
• Any monitoring systems.

A recent Energy Audit of a care home in Lancashire had a payback period of under nine months, saving almost £9,000 with energy saved by changing lighting at the home. Another audit for a manufacturing firm identified almost 60,000 kwh of energy saving per year.

In many cases the energy savings with the fastest payback are simply a case of changing behaviour by educating staff or automating on/off switches.

Adam Thompson, Chief Operating Officer at Utilitywise, whose companies Energy Audit helps firms identify areas where physical and behavioural changes can reduce electricity, gas and water consumption, said: “Going green isn’t just about saving the planet, just as important for smaller firms in the current economy is saving money and making it easier to win new business.

“The energy audit often identifies changes with an immediate payback period and in some cases, having used the audit tool to identify a problem, little investment is required, savings can be made by changing staff behavior.

“Having started out as a family run business, we understand the pressures facing small businesses, which is why we are committed to taking the hassle out of energy efficiency.”

Paul Jones

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine