Waste reduction steps 'could save Scots firms £2bn'

cardboard waste stacked on a street Zero Waste Scotland says companies can make big savings by using resources more efficiently

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Scottish businesses could cut costs by more than £2bn a year if they put in place simple waste reduction measures, according to Zero Waste Scotland.

The Scottish government-funded waste advice body said companies could save up to 1% of their turnover by using their resources more efficiently.

That would equate to £2.36bn if all businesses took the same approach.

Zero Waste Scotland suggested firms could cut water and effluent bills by as much as 50% and energy bills by 20%.

According to the advice body, the services sector could stand to make the biggest savings of almost £1.2bn.

It suggested companies should check for leaks, identify materials that can be reused, switch off electrical equipment and work more effectively with their supply chain by arranging deliveries on the same day as other firms in the local area.

Waste measures

The manufacturing sector could make savings of about £454m, according to Zero Waste Scotland.

Start Quote

Businesses must overcome the perception that going green adds cost - the opposite is true”

End Quote Iain Gulland Zero Waste Scotland

Manufacturers could cut costs by taking the environment into account at the design stage of a product - ensuring it will be longer lasting, reusable and recyclable at the end of its life.

Zero Waste Scotland also suggested the Scottish construction industry could see financial savings of more than £170m simply by implementing a site waste management plan at the start of a project, resulting in less waste being sent to landfill.

Director Iain Gulland said: "Businesses must overcome the perception that going green adds cost - the opposite is true.

"Those companies that have addressed their environmental performance with even small changes have measured savings in their bottom line - which could hit as much as 1% of turnover.

"Reducing waste is an ongoing process. You have to determine a benchmark against which you can measure future progress, and constantly identify cost-effective opportunities to prevent and reduce waste."

He added: "The companies that are always setting themselves new targets are the ones that save the most money."

Last year the Scottish government unveiled a multi-billion pound plan to create a "zero waste" society by the year 2025.

The zero waste plan includes tough new recycling and landfill targets over the next 15 years.

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