Invest NI shows local firms how to cut costs and be greener

May 01, 2007

Invest Northern Ireland has helped local firms identify potential savings of approximately £315,000 while becoming more environmentally aware.

Invest NI funded Envirowise to deliver a programme of practical advice and guidance to 17 participant businesses. The firms all supply or subcontract for Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, and the scheme has helped them to improve their profitability whilst making them aware of the role they play in Bombardier achieving its environmental goals.

The businesses were shown how they can achieve cost savings and in doing so ensure compliance with environmental legislation and achieve better environmental performance throughout the supply chain.

Over a six week period, advisors facilitated a series of workshops and on-site support at each participating firm. The first workshop examined the pressures facing the business community resulting from legislation, taxation and market pressures.

Further workshops provided advice on current environmental legislation and practical guidance on cutting costs through basic management of waste, water, materials, fuel and energy.

Advisors also visited each business to assess how the issues covered in the workshops could be applied to their individual situations. The firms each received a summary of the findings from their visit and an action report identifying compliance concerns and cost saving opportunities. Invest NI estimates that the companies could potentially save approximately £315,000 as a result of their participation in the programme.

Envirowise will be offering ongoing support to participant firms, helping them to implement improvements and realise the cost savings to be had by improving their environmental performance.

The companies each received a certificate to mark their participation in the scheme at a recent presentation in W5 at the Odyssey, Belfast.

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Technology and Process Development, says the scheme has helped highlight an important issue: “There is a clear link between sound environmental management and reducing operating costs. By identifying areas of improvement, particularly in the management of resources and waste, suppliers can make significant savings on their running costs and reduce their impact on the environment.”

Stephen Cowan, Director of Supply Chain in Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, said that the scheme will help Bombardier meet its environmental goals: “We recognise that our suppliers and subcontractors contribute to our environmental footprint. This scheme will help all of us improve our processes and reduce waste and I am pleased that our suppliers have the opportunity to enjoy a reduction in their costs. This is a good first step in working with our suppliers for mutual benefit and we will be encouraging others in the supply chain to follow suit.”

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