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Tasmanian small business saves big on energy costs

Sixteen Launceston businesses came together recently to celebrate a collective saving of almost ,000 through their participation in EcoSmartBiz in 2010-11.

Backed by joint funding from the three tiers of government, EcoSmartBiz helped small and medium enterprises save money and reduce their environmental footprint.

The businesses that participated in the most recent round of the EcoSmartBiz program saved an average of over ,000 per annum on electricity. The program also saved 43,190 kilowatt hours of energy and 15tCO2-e of greenhouse gas emissions for the year. This adds to the financial and environmental savings made by the businesses that participated in EcoSmartBiz in 2007 and 2008.

The program was supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Community, Tasmania’s Environment Protection Authority, NRM North, the Launceston City Council, the Launceston Chamber of Commerce and consulting company Net Balance.

The results were particularly great given the current tough economic conditions for retailers and other small businesses. Education, retrofitting of devices and shifts in behaviour all helped to achieve efficient use of energy and water, as well as reducing waste sent to landfill.

The cumulative impacts of the program will over time add up to further costs savings and continued reduction in environmental impact. With energy prices predicted to increase substantially over the short and medium term, neutralising price increases was an important result of the program. This is a clear demonstration that being resource efficient not only helps the environment, it also makes good business sense.

The project partners congratulate the participating businesses. These include Fuji Xerox Business Centre, Atrium Café, Harcourts Real Estate, Mojo Music, Neil Pitts, Philcam, Route 66 and Stompin. Many of the businesses will continue to work through their resource efficiency action plans and continue to make improvements and cost savings into the future. This continuous improvement approach is an important outcome of the program.

One of the program partners, NRM North, is offering grants to all past and present EcoSmartBiz participants wanting to further implement their action plans. Information on how to apply can be obtained at http://www.nrmnorth.org.au/whats-new/41-whats-new/135-news-headline-1 on NRM North’s website.

Photo shows the EcoSmartBiz celebration: (from left and down, to right) Jamie Morrison from Mojo Music, Paul Mischis from Route 66, Helen Peters from EPA Tasmania, Noel How from Fuji Xerox, Kirsten Simpson from Net Balance, Melissa Mateos-King from NRM North, Sarah McCormack from Stompin, Jim Taylor from Launceston City Council, Megan a'Campo from Philcam, Andrew Pitts from Neil Pitts, Andrew Baldwin from NRM North, George Manifold from Design Lighting, Tracey Bagger, Self Help Operations, Alison Raymond from Net Balance, Bernard Martin, YourITdept, James McKee from NRM North, Michael Steele – The Branch Office. Photo courtesy of NRM North