Green Business Network
Release date: 11/11/2010
The East of England is one of the hottest and driest regions in the UK, and water shortages are an ever present threat – if not now, in the future. Water costs are also on the increase, so any savings made by business are beneficial. And Leagrave-based T&E Neville is proof that small changes can reap big rewards.
In the last twelve months alone, the company has saved 868 cubic metres of water – a reduction of 65%. To put this in context, the water saved would have filled Luton’s public swimming pool.
This impressive figure was relatively simple and inexpensive to achieve. Following a resource efficiency audit carried out by Bedfordshire Green Business Network in partnership with Resource Efficiency East, the company realised that its urinals were flushing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This flushing was occurring regardless of whether the urinals were being used. The solution was to introduce infrared controls on the urinals, which means that they now only flush when they’ve been used.
Obviously, the other positive result from this was a reduction of the business’s water bills by more than 50%. The initial cost to the business was around £200 per urinal, and the payback on investment was seen within twelve months.
The business has also achieved other significant environmental improvements, including certification to the prestigious and internationally recognised ISO 14001 environmental standard.
The certification requires companies, wherever possible, to make continuous improvements to its environmental performance. This spurred T&E Neville on to look at resource efficiencies, such as reductions in energy and water use and production of waste. The results make for impressive reading. The company:
· Decreased electricity use by 7%;
· Reduced skip lifts from four to two per week, and
· Increased recycling of materials from sites by 81%.
T&E Neville achieved many of these savings by examining its activities with a critical eye and questioning many of the things it was doing. We kept asking: “Is there a better way of doing this? Could we do this differently?” says Garry Hills, Plant and Transport Manager.
According to Garry: “Better use of resources and managing our environmental impacts are critical to increased profitability and reduced costs. In the short and long-term, this will not just help to safeguard jobs and provide stability to the local economy, but will help to conserve those resources that we currently take for granted.”