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Save £1m a day campaign launched by Carbon Trust

11 February 2009

A new ‘One Million A Day’ campaign was launched by the Carbon Trust last week to mobilise UK business and help them in the recession by saving at least £1 million a day through cost effective action on climate change.

The Carbon Trust is urging businesses of all sizes to join up and prioritise actions to kick-start immediate energy savings, reduce carbon emissions and make significant direct costs savings. SMEs are also being encouraged to take advantage of a £35m Carbon Trust fund to upgrade or replace existing equipment to more energy efficient versions using unsecured, interest-free loans ranging from £5,000 up to £200,000.
The campaign’s target is to help save the UK economy £1bn over the next three years and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by at least 17m tonnes CO2 - the equivalent to annual emissions from heating nearly 5.5 million average UK homes.
As part of the campaign small and medium sized businesses are also being encouraged to get involved and use its new online carbon saving advice, with practical action guides, web tools and videos and a range of sector-specific guides including offices; retail and distribution; hospitality; engineering and mining and quarrying.
The monthly loan repayments on unsecured interest-free Energy Efficiency Loans from the Carbon Trust could be covered by immediate savings on their energy bill, so it shouldn’t hurt pockets now and will save businesses money in the long term. To check eligibility and for more information visit or call the free dedicated Carbon Trust Advice Line on 0800 085 2005.

The Carbon Trust says most businesses could save up to 20% on energy bills by taking low cost or no cost action on energy efficiency. Three key areas for immediate action are:
Energy Management – Last year UK businesses working with the Carbon Trust implemented energy saving measures including metering and monitoring, staff awareness and setting board level policies to effectively identify opportunities and monitor results, that will save over £64m a year
Improved Lighting – Installing controls, replacing and upgrading lamps to energy efficient versions and installing motion detectors are a few examples of action that will enable over £11 million worth of savings in one year
Efficient Heating – Upgrading inefficient boilers, installing controls, improving insulation and improving maintenance schedules will lead to savings of over £8.5 million a year.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband welcomed the initiative saying: “We are no longer choosing between what’s good for business and what’s good for the environment. By taking action now to reduce energy use and cut carbon from our goods and services, British business has the opportunity to not only save money and create jobs, but set us on the path to becoming an innovative low carbon economy.”
Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust said:
“As UK companies look for strategies to weather the recession it makes business sense to join the Carbon Trust campaign to cut costs by cutting carbon. We want to take £1 billion off the energy bills of UK plc over the next three years by saving at least £1m a day through cutting carbon emissions. All businesses – whether big or small - should realise easy cost savings by taking sensible energy efficiency measures. Every business should be asking how much cash their company can save by cutting carbon.”
The campaign is backed by business groups, leading companies, and Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, all urging business to immediately prioritise cutting carbon by saving energy to cut costs.
Theo Paphitis said:“Businesses of all sizes need to find ways to cut costs in this economic climate - that's a fact. But there are ways to save cash without affecting the day to day running of the company and finding ways to reduce energy is one sure-fire way to do this. Whether a business has already made a start in this area or has yet to get going, there is help and support on offer from the Carbon Trust, including interest-free loans for small businesses.”
Neil Bentley, Director Business Environment at the CBI commented: "The CBI welcomes these measures to reduce energy consumption, which will save money, increase economic efficiency and cut carbon emissions. We particularly welcome the increase in interest-free loans to small and medium-sized companies, from £50,000 to £200,000, to upgrade or replace equipment to improve energy efficiency. This increase, combined with making the loans easy to access, will make a real difference. Small firms are very important in the quest to cut UK carbon emissions. For example, they account for 45% of the potential to reduce emissions via more energy-efficient buildings, according to The Climate Change Committee."
David Nussbaum, Chief Executive, WWF-UK commented: "WWF-UK supports the Carbon Trust’s ‘One Million A Day' campaign’ as a first step for businesses to address their wider impacts. We encourage businesses to look also at carbon management across the supply chain, to engage consumers on lower carbon behaviour, and to be progressive in shaping investor and policy makers' thinking."
Sir Stuart Rose, Chairman, Marks and Spencer said: “Two years into Plan A – our 100 point eco and ethical plan – we know that a sustainable business can be a profitable business. We are already achieving cost savings as we aim to become carbon neutral by 2012, so I encourage businesses up and down the country to take part in the Carbon Trust’s ‘One Million a Day’ campaign.”
John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK commented: “The costs of not dealing with climate change will be far higher than combating it. Even with the difficulties created by the current economic crisis we need to stay focused on creating a low carbon economy. The collision of the credit crunch and the climate crunch needs to be turned into an opportunity to create a greener economy with more green jobs.”
Miles Templeman, Director-General of the IoD said: “Although we are aware that many businesses are trying to address energy efficiency, the current financial situation is proving extremely challenging but there is no doubt that businesses can reduce their operating costs through investments in energy efficiency. It is important that at this time businesses should maintain their focus on energy efficiency to cut costs and carbon and the IoD would encourage our members to contact the Carbon Trust for advice and support as soon as possible.”
Salman Amin, President of PepsiCo UK and Ireland, said:
"We are delighted to support the Carbon Trust's £1 Million a Day Campaign. This timely initiative will be instrumental in reducing UK carbon emissions and the associated costs to businesses. At PepsiCo UK we have already made some considerable cost savings across a number of our environmental sustainability initiatives. For example, we're reusing starch generated from slicing and washing potatoes and we've partnered with suppliers and customers to cut road miles significantly. As a responsible business we welcome the opportunity to continue working in partnership with the Carbon Trust to identify new ways to save carbon and cut costs too."
Sally Uren, Director of Business Programme, Forum for the Future commented:
“A full frontal assault on climate change in a recession makes perfect sense for two reasons. Firstly, cutting carbon cuts costs and may ease short-term pain. Secondly, and of equal importance, those businesses that shift to low carbon technologies and products will be much better placed to succeed in the post-recession world, in which the credit crunch might have eased, but the climate crunch will be taking a firm grip. Cutting carbon now, along with tackling broader sustainability issues, will help guarantee profitability not just for today, but also for tomorrow.”
Steve Howard, CEO, The Climate Group commented: “During a recession, it's really important that businesses pick the low-hanging fruit. Focusing on energy efficiency is just one such example - put a small amount in and see huge savings in the long-term. The Carbon Trust is encouraging a win-win situation for UK businesses and the climate with this new initiative.”
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community, which convenes the Prince’s May Day Network said: “It’s more important than ever that businesses are committed to tackling the critical issue of climate change. Not only is it good for the planet, but it brings real business benefits. Being more energy efficient can achieve immediate cost savings and SMEs should be encouraged to take advantage of the funds available from the Carbon Trust. Those businesses that start to invest in the move towards a low carbon economy, and the technology and skills that this will require, will be rewarded in the long term.”
Ronan Dunne, CEO, Telefónica O2 UK commented:“Part of our success can be put down to a realisation that you don’t always need to spend large amounts of money to see energy and carbon improvements. For Telefónica O2 UK, we saw some of our early wins from simple initiatives such as changing heating & cooling patterns in the offices & call centres and our awareness raising ‘Flick the Switch’ campaign targeting energy wastage. The results improved our bottom line, without excessive expenditure. Really, it’s all about listening to your stakeholders, and addressing their needs with minimal energy consumption.”
Simon Vincent, President of Hilton Hotels Europe, said: "Carbon reduction is vital in operating a more sustainable business and this is one of our long term goals as a global company. We have more than 3,200 hotels in more than 77 countries and being environmentally aware within the communities in which we operate is extremely important. Along with the contribution this makes to the environment there are also cost saving benefits which are welcomed in the current economic climate."
Neal Austin, Logistics Director and Chair of Environment Steering Group Morrisons Plc said: “Taking control of the carbon issue has put real money straight onto the Morrisons bottom line - this isn’t a “nice to have”, it’s a critical component of managing a business in today’s world. It’s great that with the ‘Carbon Trust Standard’ award we have been recognised as the industry leader in carbon management – but it’s better that we’re delivering outstanding value to our customers and shareholders.”
Chris Matthews, Head of Environment and Sustainability, United Utilities said: “Having worked with the Carbon Trust for a number of years on our on-going efforts to reduce carbon emissions we strongly believe that managing carbon is not a cost burden to business; it is a real opportunity to become more efficient. We have benefited from a range of practical advice, help and support which has helped make our operations more effective and lower our costs. Talking to the Trust helped us to think differently to tease out carbon savings – for example, when we encourage customers to use less water, especially hot water, we highlight the benefit in reduced energy bills.”
David Christmas, Retail Projects Director, Marston's Inns & Taverns commented:
“The Carbon Trust has been a valuable independent source of expertise. They understood the balance we needed to strike: ensuring day-to-day commercial viability,
Top Tips to Save Energy
Set a company policy and target
 Train your staff - A single computer and monitor left on 24 hours a day will cost over £50 a year. Switching them off out of hours and enabling standby features could reduce this to £15 a year each and prolong the lifespan of equipment.
 Measure how much energy you’re using - Unless you know what you’re paying, you won’t know what impact the changes make. Keep track of your bills, and how they change when you introduce our energy-saving tips.

Improved Lighting
 Lighting control – artificial lighting can be automatically controlled through daylight sensors, motion detectors and zoned controls to switch of lighting in unoccupied areas - could cut your lighting costs by as much as 15%.
 Replace high wattage filament lamps or tungsten halogen lamps with compact fluorescent lamps or metal halide lamps to make energy savings of 65-75%
 Make the most of natural light - Cleaning windows and skylights regularly will allow maximum daylight to enter the building and significantly reduce the need for electric lighting.

Efficient Heating
 Temperature control – keep your thermostat set at the minimum comfort level. Your heating costs will go up by 8% each time you increase the temperature by just one degree
 Keep the thermostat away from draughts or hot and cold spots - these will all affect the thermostat and automatically increase your heating costs.
 Don’t put equipment that generates large amounts of heat, like photocopiers, near cooling vents - the cooling system will need to work harder to cool an area that is constantly being heated.
 Maintain your equipment properly - If you don’t regularly check your heating equipment, you could be adding as much as 10% to your heating bill without knowing it.
For more information on the Carbon Trust visit or call the Carbon Trust Advice Line on 0800 085 2005.

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