Spreading the word
Set up initially for local companies in Renfrewshire, the Renfrewshire Economic Environmental Forum (REEF) is a virtual environmental club which now attracts members from Glasgow, other areas of Scotland, and as far away as Liverpool.
REEF’s aim is simple: to help its members to reduce their impact on the environment
and increase their profits. It aims to achieve this by sharing best environmental
practice with its members, as well as keeping them informed of the latest legislation,
information and technologies which will affect their business. A series of online
discussion forums facilitates the exchange of ideas and best practice between
The site operates through a series of topic headings and under each topic is
a fully interactive discussion room. In the energy room for example, there are
links to freely available help on energy efficiency, the opportunity to share
energy-saving hints and tips and discussions on the technology of energy saving.
There is also information on the Climate Change Levy aimed at energy use reduction.
In the social and community room, the debate is widened from environmental
issues to consideration of sustainability – building in social and community
concerns. Here, there is information and links to resources on the business
aspects of sustainability, and the ability to share and discuss what members
and others are doing to get to grips with this difficult issue.
Another project room deals with the statutory regulatory framework in the UK,
including reference to international treaties and protocols, new and existing
A separate area is also provided for discussion of the technologies and techniques
of water and effluent treatment.
Members are able to contribute to discussion groups that meet their business
needs by posting questions. Members provide solutions, increase awareness of
their industry legislative requirements and develop robust environmental management
systems that drive down costs.
Members of REEF can benefit through:
- Engagement in problem solving/information exchange with environmental exemplars
24 hours a day. REEF offers an opportunity to learn from environmental practitioners
through local networking, virtual discussion and case studies review. Membership
of REEF provides instant access to a number of specialist sources of information,
improving the ability to make informed judgements relating to any number of
- UK Legislation and EU directives are exposing many companies to potential
risk through failure to employ sufficient corporate responsibility and control.
Accessing and monitoring legislation as it progresses through the various
stages of European directive can reduce business risk and in many cases actually
create new business opportunities.
- Networking opportunities that produce real ‘added value’ discussion are
available through the various forums that exist on the REEF site. Members
can improve their capacity to network, in an unbounded ‘virtual’ club.
- Renfrewshire-based members can grow and develop broader business horizons
by accessing the support being offered through REEF’s principal sponsor, Scottish
- Instant availability to forthcoming REEF events, seminars and workshops
which have been planned and prepared to address the needs of the membership.
This features an online booking system.
- Members can also configure links between parts of the site that offer most
value, enabling them to keep up to date with news and views relevant to their
own business needs, access information to maximise their business performance
and reduce its impact on the environment.
The REEF site can be accessed and controlled through secure password protection.
However, the virtual nature of the club allows access to members at any time
and virtually anywhere, enabling business to maximise the benefits of good environmental
Ian McArthur of Scottish Enterprise Renfrewshire, said: “UK legislation
and EU directives are exposing many companies to potential risk through failure
to employ sufficient corporate responsibility and control. Accessing and monitoring
it progresses through the various stages can reduce business risk and in many
cases actually create new business opportunities.”
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