Saving the Planet ... the Leisurely Way
11 July 2007, News release from Powermaster
At the end of April, David Milliband spoke to a Vatican conference saying that "while we have underestimated the scale, urgency and impact of climate change, so too have we underestimated our capacity to address it." However, he continued, "The technologies, policies and institutions exist or are emerging."
And he seems to be right. In the past few weeks alone we have heard about the launch of the "We're in This Together" campaign in which eight of Britain's leading companies pledged to help customers cut their personal CO2 emissions. The 1st of May saw Prince Charles launch his first "Mayday Business Summit" on climate change; another initiative intended to mark the beginning of a business-led campaign for increased action. And, around the UK, different industries are beginning to look at ways in which they can do business in a more carbon-conscious way.
One of these is the Leisure industry. From Newcastle to Truro, Penarth to Canterbury - at local pools, leisure centres and even large water theme parks Leisure Trusts have focused on cutting carbon emissions and saving energy.
Their partner in this is Powermaster, a Wakefield-based company that works to integrate energy-efficiency into the economic fabric of our society. As Geoff Renshaw, Powermaster's Sales Director explains; "The starting point for any business looking to reduce costs and cut its carbon footprint is to determine early on exactly where energy can be saved".
"For example, in the Leisure industry, large, immediate savings are likely to be found with the a/c motors that drive pumps and fans within swimming pools. These would normally run flat out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What a waste! So we have worked with Leisure Trusts around the UK to install Variable Speed Drives to control these motors. This means that any pumps or fans in your leisure facility can be slowed down or speeded up according to demand.
"If you consider that a 20% speed reduction will provide a 50% reduction in energy usage, you can see how dramatic cuts in both carbon output and fuel bills can be achieved remarkably quickly. The only question is why WOULDN'T a company want to do it? It's just down to finding the right energy-saving plan for your business."
As well as the obvious cost-savings, financial incentives such as the "Climate Change Levy" (which this year rose for the first time in line with inflation) encourage businesses to explore the possibilities of low carbon, energy-saving technologies. Advice and financial help is also available from companies like Powermaster, and The Carbon Trust - an independent, government funded organisation that helps business and the public sector to cut carbon emissions, and supports the development of energy-saving technologies.
In total, Geoff Renshaw estimates that UK Leisure Trusts are now reducing UK carbon emissions by over 3,000 tonnes each year. And as more leisure centres realise the dual benefits of reduced energy bills and providing a more environmentally-friendly service, these figures continue to grow. "Increasingly," adds Renshaw, "customers are starting to ask questions. As we all grow more environmentally conscious within our daily lives, we start to question the services and facilities we use around us."
The UK has set itself a target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2010. As the cost of energy continues to rise, it increasingly makes simple economic sense for business leaders throughout the UK to start sourcing carbon-friendly solutions to their financial woes.
Happily you don't have to splash out to save the planet.
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