Businesses urged to make green pledge on Environment Day

Businesses in the UK have been urged to back World Environment Day this year by finding out how they can change the way their operate to reduce their own costs as well as the pollution they produce.

Just using three easy steps, the Environment Agency (EA) called on businesses to: switch off office equipment and lights at night; organise and promote a car-sharing scheme; and use doubled sided printing and recycled paper at work.

Over the course of one year, these simple actions could prevent acres of trees from being felled and reduce harmful CO2 emissions, as well as saving companies hundreds of pounds or more on their electricity and stationary bills.

According to the EA, typical savings for businesses could include:

  • Switching off lights to incur long-term energy bill savings of around 30%
  • Using energy efficient light bulbs in the place of ten regular ones to save £65 per year
  • Using and reusing recycled paper to save 50% on stationary and printing costs
  • Organising car shares to lower carbon emissions, save money and reduce congestion on the roads

    Altogether, there are 12 pledges that companies can take as part of World Environment Day 2005 to show that the environment is good for business - other ideas include using mugs instead of plastic cups, or donating old computers and other electrical equipment to schools or charities.

    Last year, over 12,000 people signed up to at least one pledge, according to the EA. This resulted in over 100 million litres of water being saved, carbon dioxide reductions of about one million kg, and diverted half a million plastic bags from going to landfill.

    "Businesses consume vast amounts of energy in the course of a normal working day; paper and plastic, electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions," stated Sir John Harman, chairman of the EA.

    "World Environment Day is a perfect opportunity for them to try and replenish some of the resources they use up. The pledges are very simple for even the smallest company, and will help to save money too."

    World Environment Day is celebrated on the 5 June every year.

    By Jane Kettle

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