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Green Business Network

BI - reducing carbon and saving money through resource efficiency

Resource efficiency savings of £16,000

20% carbon reduction in one year



The Communication and Motivation Company BI first became involved with GBN’s Resource Efficiency Club in 2005, and following a consultancy visit to suggest ways in which it could cut waste and reduce gas, electricity and water usage, set out a phased improvement programme. This included incorporating environmental sustainability into its own rigorous and dedicated CSR programme.

Employees at BI have also attended GBN seminars throughout the last couple of years on topics including assessing environmental impacts, green purchasing, gaining staff and management buy-in, and saving energy.

Gaining information and taking advantage of the help on offer has resulted in electricity use going down by 24%, which equates to savings of £16,000 in just one year.

And these initial savings have been made with modest or no investment and are mainly down to management support, the dedication of Corporate Marketing Communications Manager Claire Tunnicliffe and Senior Design Manager Dawn Smedley, and the willingness of BI’s employees to change their behaviour.

BI initially measured its baseline figures and identified where changes could be made. A phased programme was then devised to make savings and improve environmental performance. For instance, environmental awareness training resulted in switch off and recycling schemes being implemented.

The company also made some modest investments; for instance it replaced inefficient dishwashers and fridges with energy efficient ones, and almost eliminated one waste stream entirely by encouraging employees to use BI branded mugs and glasses instead of plastic cups.

Replacing a large number of small, desktop printers with a few all singing, all dancing central printers has enabled double sided printing to be set as default and has reduced paper use and paper waste. All waste is now separated and much of it is sent for recycling rather than landfill, which has resulted in landfill tax savings.

The company is now looking to make investments to further reduce energy use and carbon emissions. In fact, its target for 07-08 is to reduce carbon emissions by 15%. In addition, areas such as water use are being addressed and BI is looking into replacing fittings in toilet areas. This would include introducing dual flush toilets, and use of water hippos and taps to reduce water consumption.

BI is continuing to work with GBN’s Resource Efficiency Club, and has found the advice and support offered invaluable.

“The GBN has been instrumental in helping us achieve our outstanding savings. With GBN’s help, we have managed to implement a number of changes to the day-to-day running of BI which have not only saved the company money but, more importantly, have reduced BI’s carbon footprint and the impact we have on the environment.” Dawn Smedley

The Newport Pagnell based company takes its responsibilities seriously – not just in terms of reducing its own impact on the environment, but also in getting the message out to others involved in the events management and performance improvement industry. BI addressed their industry trade association’s 2006 EVENTIA conference on environmental sustainability and carbon reduction, which facilitated the agreement of other organisations to take action.  As a result, the One Future initiative was launched in October last year whereby member organisations offer their clients the opportunity to donate 1% of the total event spend to a fund which is used to plant trees in the UK to offset carbon, and to educate school children on environmental sustainability.