Realising environmental advantage | Green business, Eco-efficiency

By: Insideoutworks  06-Dec-2011

There are endless claims about green (and greener) businesses, but what does it all mean and how can you make a meaningful difference to your business? More importantly how can your business take real and sensible actions that give you a green advantage without being accused of 'greenwash' or lip service to the environment?

Answering these questions means firstly knowing what you want. For example; do you want to use improved environmental performance to drive business efficiency or do you want to some type of certification that you can use for promotion, or maybe both?

Before you decide this, checking if you comply with the environmental rules in your neighbourhood might be a good first step.

We keep up to date with the latest developments so we can help you to take a good hard look at things like compliance with regulatory requirements, energy use, waste generation and so on. You might be surprised at the improvements that come out of just this first step.

Do you need to develop a written environmental policy that actually works for your organisation? We can help.

You might then want to consider some type of certification. For example if you are in the tourism industry should you consider Green Globe certification? Should you consider being part of a product stewardship scheme? If you want to go down that path we can help with the steps you might need to take and with finding the right certifier.

Our approach is always to be practical about environmental sustainability. This means not just being green because it is a nice idea but for good hard practical reasons.

Our experience

In one way or another we have been involved with improving sustainability long before it became fashionable.

One of our team led the early work on improving waste management in New Zealand. We also have the knowledge and training on the engineering, environmental and the business sides to provide you with realistic advice about how to improve sustainability.

One of our directors represented New Zealand in developing the world sustainability programme after the Johannesburg summit and was a board member of the Global Environment Facility – a World Bank organisation dedicated to improving sustainability in the developing world. So we really do understand the big picture on this.

At a personal level we try to live and run our business by being sensibly sustainable. Here are the sorts of things we’ve already done – and we are still working on it:

  • Running fuel efficient vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions
  • Converting from electric heating to heat pumps
  • Installing high efficiency lighting where practical
  • Having skylights that reduce the need for artificial lighting
  • Installing solar water heating
  • Collecting water from the roof in a storage tank for the garden
  • Factoring in energy consumption when purchasing appliances and business equipment and most importantly
  • Turning off lighting and heating when leaving a room, managing paper consumption, and making the best use of local recycling schemes.

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