Free guide will help SMEs cut carbon footprint

Small and medium sized firms can reduce their carbon footprint and achieve savings of up to 15% in energy costs by following the guidelines outlined in a new publication by the Carbon Trust.

The Growing Business’ Guide to Managing Carbon aims to demonstrate how small and medium-sized businesses can save money and increase efficiency by cutting their energy usage. It also offers guidance on applying for the Carbon Trust Standard, the UK’s first online assessment and certification service for small businesses.

The guide includes information on:

• Measuring and monitoring your carbon footprint
• Collecting accurate energy data
• Creating an energy policy
• The benefits of reducing emissions and how to start carbon reporting
• Using certification to grow your business

“Different businesses have different activities, but we’ve found that 10-15 per cent savings can be made and the payback is very fast,” said Carbon Trust Standard general manager, Harry Morrison. “The small businesses that have been through this process have saved £2,000.”

He added that there were two reasons that small firms should consider applying for the Standard. “To save money by being more energy efficient and to gain a competitive advantage by marketing environmental credentials to customers,” said Morrison.
To date only ten small businesses have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard, with another 100 in the process of applying for it using the new online service.

Toby Robins, sustainable development director of Wiles Greenworld, one of the first small businesses to achieve the standard, said: “The Carbon Trust Standard validates our sustainability claims and proves that we are genuinely committed to addressing our environment impact. It provides both a focus and recognition for our efforts.”

To achieve certification businesses must submit a year’s worth of data detailing their carbon footprint and demonstrate good carbon management.

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