Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Business excellence through resource efficiency (betre): East Sussex waste minimisation programme

Ackroyd, J., Titmarsh, L., Coulter, B., Dombey, A. and Phillips, P. S. (2006) Business excellence through resource efficiency (betre): East Sussex waste minimisation programme. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 46(3), pp. 217-241. 0921-3449.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: The East Sussex business excellence through resource efficiency (ES betre) waste minimisation club (programme) aimed to increase awareness of the benefits of improved resource efficiency and achieve reductions in waste, energy and water for SMEs in East Sussex, in South East England. The programme was delivered by EcoSys in partnership with the East Sussex Sustainable Business Partnership, a collaboration of all East Sussex Local Authorities, the Environment Agency and EcoSys. ES betre provided a range of free support and advice over a 2-year period including: 54 workshops, 6 newsletters, 30 environmental audits, 16 grants and 312 technical helpline enquiries. Information on environmental compliance and best practice for solid waste minimisation and recycling, energy and water efficiency was disseminated and activities linked with the government's best practice programmes, e.g. Envirowise, Action Energy and The Carbon Trust. Marketing activities were extremely successful in attracting businesses to join with 757 signing up, 60% of which then went onto become active service users. This is the most successful recruitment rate in the UK to date, making ES betre some 40 times larger than the average UK waste minimisation club. Excellent links with local business support/trade associations were built up and recruitment by personal recommendation became a feature. The project had a strong focus on smaller businesses (<250 employees). Of the businesses that signed up to the project, 56% were Micro (<9 employees) and 86% employed less than 50 employees (Small). The project reached 4000 local businesses regularly via newsletters and event mailings. Some 60% of the 757 businesses became actively involved and attended training events or had environmental audits. A total of 189 businesses identified improvement actions (1226) and of these, 123 businesses had implemented at least one improvement action by the end of the programme. These resulted in estimated cost savings of at least £263,000 per annum and just over half of these savings have already been achieved (March 2005). In addition, actions taken to prevent pollution and ensure compliance with environmental legislation will save businesses a further £297,000 in fines. These cost savings were larger than the cost of the project (£298,000). The environmental impact of the programme has been significant with reductions identified in waste (1915 t), water (17,352 m3) and energy (1.2 million kWh). The savings quantified are thought to be conservative as it was found that many Micro and SMEs did not measure the impact of their actions. Previous experience indicates that, for projects involving smaller companies, cost savings are likely to be underestimated by at least 50%. As well as making it difficult to measure outputs, this lack of measurement means it is harder to demonstrate the need for change with the benefits of improved practice.
Uncontrolled Keywords: ES betre, programme, minimisation
Subjects: T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering > TD783 Municipal refuse. Solid wastes > TD793.9 Waste minimisation
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering > TD896 Industrial and factory wastes
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences > GE300 Environmental management
Creators: Ackroyd, Janette, Titmarsh, Louise, Coulter, Ben, Dombey, Abigail and Phillips, Paul S
Publisher: Elsevier
Northamptonshire and East Midlands: Environment
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > School of Applied Sciences (to 2009) > Environmental Science (to 2009)
Date: March 2006
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 217-241
Journal or Publication Title: Resources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume: 46
Number: 3
Language: English
ISSN: 0921-3449
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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