Scotland’s businesses spend 13 million hours going green

The Scottish business community contributed a combined total of 12.98 million man hours* worth at least £75.3 million** towards the process of improving their environmental footprint last year, according to new figures from Zero Waste Scotland.

1 Mar 10

A typical Scottish business spent on average 84 man hours implementing green initiatives last year as more and more companies recognise the financial benefits of improving their environmental performance.

The new figures from Zero Waste Scotland also revealed that one in ten firms dedicated over 200 hours of time last year – or at least four hours every week – specifically carrying out tasks that will help the environment. By dedicating time to implementing simple measures, Scottish businesses made financial savings of £222m in 2008 with those who sought support from Envirowise likely to save up to four times as much as non-users of the programme.***

Research shows that the majority of time was spent recycling materials with 56 per cent of businesses committing to recycling more last year. 43 per cent of firms in Scotland found it easiest to reduce electricity consumption and reducing waste to landfill and saving water were also key activities conducted by firms in Scotland in 2009.

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Scotland faces challenging environmental targets and it is only through this level of commitment that the country will achieve its objectives. Help is at hand though and businesses that have engaged with support programmes like Envirowise have saved on average up to four times more than businesses who didn’t. There’s never been a better time to take action.

“Both the number of businesses committed to reducing their environmental impact and the amount of time they spend implementing those changes needs to increase in 2010.

”The business community is beginning to acknowledge the financial benefits of going green and this recognition will spur more Scottish businesses to take the environmental challenge seriously.”

Further Zero Waste Scotland figures suggest that mid-sized businesses appear to be contributing most to reducing their environmental impact. Firms with a turnover between £2m and £10m invested on average 97 man hours on green initiatives in 2009 – 33 per cent more than small firms and 7 per cent more than firms with sales over £10m a year.

Iain Gulland added: “Getting employees onside is a key part of the process and perhaps mid-sized businesses are in the best position to achieve that. They have significant scale in the size of their employee base but their size is not so big that workers can’t feel part of a genuine movement within the business as a whole.”

In order to help businesses begin the process of changing behaviours and galvanising the workforce towards environmental change, Zero Waste Scotland has launched a free Behaviour Change toolkit - Click Here.  Alternatively companies can call  0800 585794 to speak to an expert advisor.

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