Companies can save Billions Through Resource Efficiencies

BRITISH businesses can save around £23 billion a year by improving the way they use energy amongst other things.

The figures come from research published by the UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and along with energy, water and waste management make up the potential savings.

The research identifies these huge potential savings to UK businesses from what is known as ‘resource efficiency’ – using energy more efficiently and in ways that need little and sometimes or no investment.

Improving resource efficiency is a key part of the transition to a green economy, providing benefits for businesses and the environment while boosting the UK economy. It also shows that the savings could be even greater when the potential from longer term investment is included. These savings could improve competitiveness and employment opportunities for British business.

Unveiling the research Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:

“Moving to a green economy offers businesses opportunities to grow into the future. Becoming more resource efficient contributes to a business’s bottom line, increases profitability and their capacity to grow. In addition to improving competitiveness, businesses could reduce carbon emissions by 29 million tonnes a year; so it’s a win-win for business and the environment.”

The research shows that some good progress has been made by business in being more efficient in the way they use resources, but there are still considerable opportunities out there. It identifies the main barriers to taking the necessary action as behavioural, financial and a lack of information.

Richard Gillies, Director of Plan A at Marks & Spencer, said:

“From our own experience, going green is good for business as well as being good for the environment. Last year Plan A, our eco and ethical programme, made a profit of £50 million which has been reinvested back into in the business. We’ve achieved this by becoming more efficient – for example using less energy.”

The research project, prepared by Oakdene Hollins, looks at the potential financial and environmental savings to UK businesses from improved resource efficiency. It uses updated figures to a similar project published in 2007 to calculate the total savings potential of £23 billion per year.


Picture of the Tri-centre, Fleming Way, Swindon (Brian Robert Marshall) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Monday 14th March 2011

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