A campaign launched by the Carbon Trust is mobilising UK business to help them in the recession by saving at least £1 million a day through cost effective action on climate change.

The campaign is backed by business groups, leading companies, and Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, all urging business to immediately prioritise cutting carbon by saving energy to cut costs.

In its new One Million A Day campaign, the Carbon Trust is urging businesses of all sizes to join up and prioritise actions to kick-start immediate energy savings, reduce carbon emissions and make significant direct costs savings. SMEs are also being encouraged to take advantage of a £35 million Carbon Trust fund to upgrade or replace existing equipment to more energy efficient versions using unsecured, interest-free loans ranging from £5,000 up to £200,000.

The campaign’s target is to help to save the UK economy £1 billion over the next three years and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by at least 17 million tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent to annual emissions from heating nearly 5.5 million average UK homes.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, who welcomed the initiative, said: “We are no longer choosing between what’s good for business and what’s good for the environment. By taking action now to reduce energy use and cut carbon from our goods and services, British business has the opportunity to not only save money and create jobs, but set us on the path to becoming an innovative low carbon economy.”

The Carbon Trust says most businesses could save up to 20 per cent on energy bills by taking low cost or no cost action on energy efficiency. 

Three key areas for immediate action are:

Energy Management – Last year UK businesses working with the Carbon Trust implemented energy saving measures including metering and monitoring, staff awareness and setting board level policies to effectively identify opportunities and monitor results, that will save over £64 million a year.

Improved Lighting – Installing controls, replacing and upgrading lamps to energy efficient versions and installing motion detectors are a few examples of action that will enable over £11 million worth of savings in one year.

Efficient Heating – Upgrading inefficient boilers, installing controls, improving insulation and improving maintenance schedules will lead to savings of over £8.5 million a year.

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: “As UK companies look for strategies to weather the recession it makes business sense to join the Carbon Trust campaign to cut costs by cutting carbon. We want to take £1 billion off the energy bills of UK plc over the next three years by saving at least £1 million a day through cutting carbon emissions.  All businesses – whether big or small – should realise easy cost savings by taking sensible energy efficiency measures. Every business should be asking how much cash their company can save by cutting carbon.”

Inspirational advice on how to reduce the impact business has on the environment will be top of the agenda at the next Thrive forum.

The session, Carbon Responsibility in the Office-based Sector, will be at the ICC on Thursday, April 23, from 6pm.

Guest speaker will be Dr Catarina Cardoso from the Carbon Trust who leads the financial and professional services sector programme. She previously worked as head of WWF-UK’s climate change programme and for the European Commission as a policy adviser on the environment.

Catarina will briefly cover the current regulatory framework in the UK and outline how the Carbon Trust is helping business reduce carbon emissions. The focus will then be on the office-based sector and what we can be done to reduce carbon footprint.

Martin Dyer, NEC Group site development manager, will be outlining the NEC Group’s response to these challenges and how carbon considerations have influenced design, construction and operations of their facilities.

There will be a small charge for attendance. For further details contact Isabel Drabble at Birmingham Forward on 0121 632 2203 or at Isabel@birminghamforward.co.uk