Sunday 24 September 2017

Savvy firms reaping the rewards for going green

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

FRESHWAYS Sandwiches has saved €15,000 a year by selling waste bread crusts to a breadcrumb manufacturer rather than composting the material. In Cavan, CG Power Systems has reduced its gas bill by €200,000 a year by re-using heat produced by its painting oven to provide heat for its offices.

These savings are all thanks to careful resource management, the focus of a new campaign by government initiative Green Business, backed by Enterprise Ireland and business body IBEC.

They are hosting a series of free seminars in Athlone, Dublin and Cork this month to demonstrate how easy it is for businesses to cut costs by reducing the waste of resources – this includes manufacturing by-products, as well resources like electricity and water.

Speakers include Mohamed Hamoud from Heinz in Dundalk, who will talk about how the food company re-uses its cardboard packaging, and John Lynch, an environmental specialist with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, who will discuss measures taken at his company's state-of-the-art Cork manufacturing facility. Its rainwater-collection system provides a quarter of Janssen's water needs, while an on-site wind turbine generates 50pc of the company's electricity.

Resource management can be as simple as reducing the force of water coming out of a company's taps. "We have worked with a number of meat-processing plants and it is amazing the amount of hot water they use for cleaning," said Green Business director John Hogan. "We discovered in one facility that by reducing the flow rates from hoses by 20pc, the business could save €42,000 a year in water and energy cost."

Changing boilers can also massivley cut costs. The Irish Dairy Board office in Dublin has reduced its heating costs by €16,000 per year by switching its oil boiler to a new gas boiler.

Irish Independent

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