That is according to Resource Efficiency East (REE), a not-for-profit company that helps small businesses reduce the use of energy, water and materials/waste and make big financial savings as a result.
REE hosted a workshop and networking session at Leighton Buzzard Golf Club on January 13, attended by a range of small businesses.
Liz Stenton, of REE, said over the last 18 months 900 small businesses had been given one-to-one help by the organisation on reducing costs, achieving £4million-a-year savings at an average of £7,000 per business.
She said: “The UK economy is estimated to be only 10 per cent resource efficient and small businesses in the UK could save £1.37 billion a year. But one third of SMEs have yet to take any action.”
The top message from the session was “you cannot manage what you do not measure”.
With the costs of energy and landfill tax pressure rising, she said it was vital that companies took action to retain their competitiveness. Potential customers are also looking for evidence from smaller firms that action is being taken further down their supply chains.
Examples were given of the actions companies had taken to reduce their resource inefficiency. One small hotel has saved £1,800 in purchasing costs by replacing bottles of toiletries with large, refillable dispensers.
Company delegates were advised to work out a strategy on saving energy and to set up to 10 realistic targets for reducing their use of resources. This would also include training staff.
Delegates heard that energy surveys can reveal surprising things. One company saved £30,000 from end-of-shift walk arounds to make sure everything was off.
Timers and sensors can be a vital investment, if they are working properly. One company found that its heating system was set to Rome time, wasting energy at night but leaving workspace cold during the day.
Companies can also be more efficient in their use of water. Surprisingly many businesses still use pre-1960’s 13-litre flush cisterns. Modern cisterns use less than half that.
Being more efficient can mean doing as little as putting a brick in the cistern tank. No-touch flushing can save up to 30 per cent of water and push-up taps can save 65 per cent.
>> Where to go for more information: www.resourceefficiencyeast.org.uk 01733 294524 [email protected]