The Scottish government-funded group says that implementing no-cost and low-cost measures to use resources more efficiently could save up to 1% of a company’s turnover.

Scottish firms could also cut water and effluent bills by up to 50% and reduce their energy bills by up to 20% by changing their approach to waste, according to the group.

The service sector, it claims could make savings of £1.2 billion by checking for leaks, reusing materials, switching off electrical equipment and working more effectively with their supply chains.

It estimates that manufacturing could save £454 million by taking the environment into account at the design stage by ensuring products are longer lasting, reusable and recyclable.

The construction industry could see savings of over £170 million by implementing a site waste management plan at the start of a project.

Zero Waste Scotland’s director, Iain Gulland, said: “Businesses must overcome the perception that going green adds cost – the opposite is true.

“Those companies that have addressed their environmental performance with even small changes have measured savings in their bottom line – which could hit as much as one per cent of turnover.”

Companies need to change their business culture in order to see these benefits and this, says Zero Waste Scotland, is a major barrier to waste reduction.

Alison Brown

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