This amounts to 15% of the total energy bill for industry and unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions of 8 million tonnes – the equivalent on Birmingham’s annual output.

Business is responsible for almost half of the UK’s total emissions and the Carbon Trust has funded a series of hard-hitting TV and newspaper adverts to drive the energy efficiency message home.

Energy prices have soared in the last two years and are continuing to rise, damaging the bottom line and posing a serious threat to business competitiveness, says the trust.

The publicity campaign encourages businesses to contact the Carbon Trust and seek help in cutting energy costs and carbon emissions ahead of the critical winter period, when wastage will rise even higher.

The new research also looks at the summer energy used and wasted by businesses across ten UK cities and key manufacturing and service sectors.

Across manufacturing, including the food and drink and chemical sectors, the amount of energy spent is £1.8 billion, of which 12 per cent (£226 million) is wasted.

In the service sector, industries such as wholesale and retail and leisure are spending £1.6 billion, of which 19 per cent (£305 million) is wasted during the summer.

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: “British businesses are wasting millions on energy, hitting the environment and their bottom line.

“The sheer scale of the energy wasted is staggering and something businesses can no longer afford to ignore.

“What’s more, consumers and shareholders alike are becoming more aware of a company’s environmental record and this trend is only going to grow.

“This campaign will empower companies to make business sense of climate change by taking cost effective action – to cut carbon and make significant savings on their bottom line. Energy saving today is a no brainer for business and the environment.”

Supporting the launch of the campaign Ian Pearson MP, Minister of State for Environment and Climate Change said: “We welcome this campaign launch that will highlight the cost of carbon emissions to business and how it can be addressed.

“By working with the Carbon Trust, we can fully engage the power of business to help us tackle climate change. Defra takes its leadership role on energy efficiency very seriously and was the first central government department to sign up to the Carbon Trust Carbon Management programme to address its own emissions.

“This campaign is timely as in the last few days this Government has committed to making the Government office estate carbon neutral by 2012, and to reduce Government’s total emissions from buildings by 30% by 2020.”

Last year the Carbon Trust identified carbon savings of 2.7 million tonnes of carbon through working with companies.

To find out more, businesses can call the helpline on 0800 917 3030 or visit the Carbon Trust website at

Sam Bond

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