5 top tips to help your business become more resource efficient

You may already know that the LEP can support businesses with grants and loans to help them grow, invest in training and explore new markets. But did you know, soon we’ll also be offering support to help your business become more resource efficient and as a result, more profitable?

Resource efficiency isn’t just good for the environment, it makes good business sense. Cutting the cost of materials, energy and water increases your bottom line and makes you more resilient to fluctuations in price that are difficult to control.

But with companies like Goldman Sachs showing that businesses that invest in sustainability over perform by 25% compared to those that don’t, it’s clear that there’s much more to it. A sustainable, resource efficient business model attracts and retains high quality employees, brings new customers and helps secure finance from new investors.

If you’re a small or medium sized business in the Leeds City Region and looking to reduce your resource usage – we could help. Through our Resource Efficiency Fund due to launch in early 2017, the LEP will be able to provide free resource efficiency assessments, hands on business support, and 50% grant funding up to £10,000 to help you save money, resources and improve the sustainability of your business.

Whilst we finalise plans for our new programme, we have come up with five things you can do to start to become more resource efficient:

1) Understand what you use: Before anything else it is essential to identify your starting position. What resources to do you use? How efficiently do you use them? This will help you identify what can work best for you.

2) Look for quicks wins: Not all resource efficiency measures are expensive and/or time consuming; there are numerous no or low cost things that you can do today with immediate benefits for your business. There are plenty of online resources to help you explore what can be done – for example take a look at Wrap’s Business Resource Efficiency Hub

3) Engage your workforce: Strong leadership and an engaged, motivated workforce can often achieve as much, if not more, than changing your equipment or processes. But the benefits are far more wide ranging, with many companies pointing to inspired, happier and healthier staff. You can view a helpful training presentation on Resource Efficient Scotland’s website.

4) Use efficiency to drive innovation: Resource efficiency can be a driver for innovation; from exploring alternative, more sustainable materials and energy sources, to stimulating product re-design in order to improve performance, to re-designing packaging to reduce materials, weight and costs. Why not check out some innovation examples here.

5) Measure what you have done: A good understanding of the impacts of the changes you make to your resource use and waste outputs and the wider benefits to your brand and your workforce is essential to creating change that will really last. For example, a smart meter could help you to track your energy use better so that you can see the impacts of your energy efficiency actions.

If you want to chat through any of your business growth plans or find out more about the upcoming Resource Efficiency Fund, you can call our Growth Service team to see how we may be able to help by calling 0113 348 1818. We will also be at Eco Fair on June 15th at stand 35 and 44, where you can meet our energy team and learn how the LEP can support your business.