Greenbusiness.ie is launched for small and medium enterprises in Ireland

Date released: Sep 03 2008

With energy costs, and waste and water charges increasing, businesses and other organisations are starting to look at reducing their overheads and adopting smarter, greener ways of doing business.

To help businesses achieve this aim, the National Waste Prevention Programme, led by the EPA, has funded and developed greenbusiness.ie. This is a free business advisory service that represents an innovative approach to waste prevention and resource efficiency in Ireland. Greenbusiness.ie is aimed primarily at small and medium sized enterprises, public bodies and other organisations.

Commenting, Dr Gerry Byrne, EPA Chairperson of the National Waste Prevention Committee said,

“Businesses will benefit from using greenbusiness.ie by making cash savings through decreased waste handling and disposal charges, reduced energy and water bills and more effective use of raw materials.  Over time, businesses will be able to track for themselves their improvements and benchmark themselves against other businesses or similar organisations.”

Using greenbusiness.ie, a business or organisation will be able to:

  • Quantify and record the amount of waste generated and the associated costs of its management.
  • Quantify and record how much water is used, and its cost.
  • Identify and record the amount of energy used and the associated costs.
  • Create an individual account to store this information and monitor progress towards reduced costs.
  • In confidence, compare their performance with other businesses, and monitor and improve it over time.

Greenbusiness.ie will be centred around a website at www.greenbusiness.ie incorporating user-friendly web-based waste, water and resource audit tools, a telephone and email help-desk and the support of free site visits.

The on-line tools will generate baseline information for the user that can be used to compare improvements made and also to compare similar types of business already using the tools. Users will input waste, water and energy information to the audit tools and a detailed report of their current position will be generated.

Tailored independent and confidential advice will be provided through a combination of phone and email help-lines and site visits by ‘Specialist Advisors’. These advisors will help the users to identify no cost and low cost options to make real savings through waste, water and energy efficiencies. Site visits will be provided free of charge to users, and be conducted by a consultant with specialist knowledge of the user’s sector. The specialist advisors will prepare a bullet point action plan highlighting short, medium and long-term actions and an estimate of potential cost savings.

To avail of this free service please go to www.greenbusiness.ie or call the greenbusiness.ie helpline: 01 813 1086

Further information: Niamh Leahy/Alma Hynes, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170744 (24 hours)

EDITOR’S NOTES:

A pilot phase of greenbusiness.ie will operate between September 2008 and February 2009.  This pilot period is designed to allow the tools to be tested by businesses, to receive feedback on the tools and services and to ensure that greenbusiness.ie is relevant and useful to Irish businesses. 
 

The website tools were designed and the advisory project will be managed independently by Enviros Consulting Ltd., based in Swords, Co. Dublin on behalf of the National Waste Prevention Programme. Enviros have a strong track record in providing resource efficiency advice, particularly in Northern Ireland and Great Britain through the Envirowise and other initiatives.

National Waste Prevention Programme

The National Waste Prevention Programme commenced in 2004 at the request of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The Environmental Protection Agency leads and co-ordinates the Programme (see www.nwpp.ie). There are two major strands to the National Waste Prevention Programme. 

  1. The Green Business Initiative seeks to promote and bring about better environmental performance in Irish businesses and other organisations. A range of tools are in development that will allow organisations to measure and reduce their waste generation, water consumption and use of resources. A sectoral initiative for hotels is underway called Green Hospitality Awards. 
  2. The Local Authority Prevention Demonstration Programme commenced in 2006. Fourteen local authorities are now participating and are receiving considerable grant aid to enable them and their environmental staff to develop capacity in the fields of waste prevention and resource efficiency. Participating local authorities are in turn helping local businesses and organisations to achieve waste prevention and cost savings.

Other projects associated with the National Waste Prevention Programme include:

  • packaging prevention, led by Repak and supported by the EPA;
  • Green Homes, led by An Taisce and supported by the EPA, as a follow up to the successful and ongoing Green Schools programme;
    certified prevention training courses for business (led by IBEC), local authorities (led by the Clean Technology Centre) and packaging (led by Repak); and
  • implementation of product compliance directives including:
    • ROHS – restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment;
    • Decorative paints – restricting the use of organic solvents in paints.