AN action group has been launched in the Solent region, with the aim of encouraging businesses to be more eco-friendly.
It is called the Business Solent Action Group, and was launched at the latest Solent Champion Briefing
The group’s new chairman, James Cretney, CEO of Marwell Wildlife and director at Business Solent, said he hoped the group would promote an all-encompassing model of best practice for firms to use throughout the region.
Duncan East, sustainability manager at Marwell Wildlife, explained the changes they had put in place during the past three years had made a considerable difference to their bottom line.
He said: ‘By reducing energy usage we have saved £25,000 a year and there have been no investment costs at all.’
Simple things like looking at how and when their lights, air conditioning and heating were needed meant they were able to target savings.
‘We introduced basic behavioural changes regarding how we heat the buildings and how we set the timers and it made a real impact.’
Companies can also make savings by recycling and reassessing their waste, he added.
As well as a responsibility to the planet, business has a responsibility to the people it employs.
Lindsey Noble, principal of Southampton City College, said staff went on a four-day personal development programme to learn more about sustainability.
She said: ‘We have high expectations of our staff but that is matched with the support we offer. We make sure we understand their development needs.
‘We are looking for young employees to mentor younger students. They will gain skills through mentoring and the students will gain positive role models.’
The Solent Action Group is planning to host three sustainability briefings next year, each focusing in turn on social impact, environmental performance, and supporting the local economy.
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