Agency saves millions by cutting CO2 and waste

17th August 2011

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  • Recycling ,
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  • Waste ,
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The Environment Agency (EA) is sending 66% less waste to landfill and producing 17% less carbon dioxide than it was five year's ago, saving the regulator £6 million each year.

In publishing its first environment management update, the regulator has revealed that efforts to lessen its environmental impact have resulted in a 17% cut in office waste, a 15% reduction in energy use in its buildings and an 18% drop in its water consumption.

Reducing the cumulative annual mileage of staff by 19 million miles (33%) and introducing cleaner vehicles helped to reduced carbon dioxide emissions, alongside the introduction of energy saving technologies in its buildings, such as automatic meter reading and voltage optimisation systems.

Adopting water saving technologies at many of its premises also resulted in 12,000m3 less water being used than five years ago, while a combination of improved recycling facilities and raising staff awareness helped the agency to cut office waste.

In publishing its results, the EA is encouraging other organisations to improve both their environmental performance and their public reporting of it.

EA chief executive, Dr Paul Leinster, said: “Big organisations often have a big environmental footprint. Transport, energy and waste all contribute and need to be managed, measured and reduced. Those that do so effectively will reduce costs and improve their reputation.

“In the future, we’ll see higher energy prices, more carbon reporting and greater competition for resources. Good environmental management helps address each and also helps to reduce our running costs.

“Our own experience shows that focusing on a few important measures, embedding them into every team and reporting to the board each year are key to success.”
The EA’s results follow the announcement last month that government departments managed to cut carbon emissions from their buildings by 13.8% in the 12 months since the coalition took office, exceeding David Cameron’s pledge of a 10% reduction.

The government has now set departments a target of reducing emissions by 25% by 2015, however, the EA aims to better this by cutting CO2 by 33% by then.


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