The loans will help fund new heating systems and experiments into improving industrial processes, amongst other things, which could help save businesses up to £2.9bn in total.

Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme of the Government-funded Zero Waste Scotland, will be overseeing the programme and carrying out audits on applicants.

Head of Resource Efficient Scotland Marissa Lippiatt said: “Making resource efficiency a priority doesn’t just benefit the environment; it can also lead to cost savings and a real competitive advantage.

“We know that time, money and expertise can often be perceived as a barrier, particularly for small businesses. These funds can help overcome some of these barriers, and I hope to see businesses taking this opportunity and making progress in becoming more sustainable.”

Liquid savings

The announcement comes in the same week that Resource Efficient Scotland launched a separate campaign aimed at helping local business improve their water efficiency.

Lippiatt said:”Water efficiency can often be overlooked by time-pressured businesses, but we know from our work with organisations across sectors that taking simple steps to reduce water use can lead to huge savings.

“To highlight this issue and help provide practical advice to businesses, we’re running free training events and webinars in June, and providing lots of practical advice and resources on our website. In addition, businesses looking for specific support can call our helpline and speak to an advisor.”

Ahead of the campaign, Resource Efficient Scotland held a Q&A session, featured exclusively on edie, with Dr Stuart Ballinger, project director for the Water Technology List, to discuss why and how businesses should reduce their water use. 

Resource Efficient Scotland’s top water tips:

1. Understand your bills – It’s important to know how you’re charged for water to ensure that you’re best placed to respond to opportunities for improvement and respond to any issues. Make sure you know the period of time that your water bills cover.

2. Conduct a site walk around – This is a great way to identify quick-win opportunities, and to determine whether you have any leaks or faults. This should be done on a regular basis. A free walk-around checklist is available from the Resource Efficient Scotland website.

3. Stay in control with good monitoring – Collecting regular water meter readings will allow you to track your water use, your performance and also to quickly identify any issues that occur, such as a water leak or excessive use.

4. Reduce domestic water use – There are lots of low-cost technologies you can take advantage of to help reduce toilet cistern flush volume, reduce tap and shower rates, and reduce urinal flush frequency. These improvements have short payback periods, especially if incorporated into a refurbishment programme.

5. Engage your staff – This can have a big impact on the amount of water wasted. When staff appreciate the value and cost of water they’re more likely to use it efficiently, report leaks or faults, and help to fix issues. 

Brad Allen

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie