Translation disclaimer (Translation disclaimer)

This content has been translated by a computer program and may not be 100% accurate.

(This content has been translated by a computer program and may not be 100% accurate.)

Environment and sustainability

Here you can find out what initiatives we are involved in to help businesses with energy efficiency.

View of Mytholmroyd

Many companies think of energy as a 'fixed overhead'. Saving energy is one of the easiest ways to reduce costs and improve your reputation.

Reducing energy use is one of the fastest and most effective ways to save your business money.

We can help with advice on efficiency and renewable energy. We can also give up-to-date information on what support there is and opportunities within the low-carbon economy.

Current initiatives

Investors in the Environment (iiE)

Investors in the Environment is a national accreditation scheme designed to:

  • Help organisations save money.
  • Reduce their impact on the environment.
  • Get them promoted for their green credentials.

Who is it for? The iiE accreditation is suitable for organisations of all types and sizes, from sole traders to large multi-site employers. Your organisation does not need to have prior experience or environmental expertise in house.

How does it work? There is a step by step approach within each accreditation level. This lets your organisation set achievable targets and establish a pathway of continual improvement. There is a suitable starting level for every company that wishes to go green.

Energy efficiency advice

Energy saving tips for businesses

Reduce the energy you use, it is one of the fastest and most effective ways to save money. Here are some general ideas on how your business can save money.

Good housekeeping

  • Encourage staff to switch off lights in unoccupied areas or where daylight is adequate.
    • You could cut your lighting costs by as much as 15%.
    • Just by making sure you turn lights off in rooms and corridors that are not being used.
  • Make sure windows and skylights are clean and free from obstructions to make maximum use of daylight.
  • Turn off interior display lighting out of hours.
  • Label switches clearly so that lights can easily be turned off in unwanted areas.
  • Computer screens, photocopiers and printers should be turned off when not in use. Also, turn off base units at the mains overnight.
  • Check that doors and windows are closed in winter, where possible.
  • Check taps are not dripping or left running.
  • Check room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves are on the correct settings.

Heating systems

  • Turning down the thermostat by 1oC can reduce your annual heating bill by 8-10%.
  • Keep furniture clear of heaters and radiators, so heating is not obstructed.
  • If you have fan heaters, are the internal filters clean? Dirty filters lead to loss of heat output, which will mean longer running times.
  • Set your heating to match occupancy. Use timers to preheat buildings in good time for occupancy. Avoid heating unused areas and make sure the building is not heated when not in use.
  • Check boilers and thermostats – serviced boilers can save up to 10% on heating costs.
  • Make sure you know where all the time switches are and that they are set to the correct time/day.
  • Reduce 'on' times where you can.
  • Make sure that the heating is not too hot in mild weather, or too cold in severe weather.

Hot water systems

  • Can the hours that hot water is available be reduced?
  • If electricity is used to heat water, can it be done on a cheap rate tariff at night?
  • Check the insulation around pipework and tanks and replace any damaged or missed sections.

Lighting systems

  • Can lighting levels be reduced? Switch off or dim unnecessary lights.
  • Do not use more light than you need. If you are only working in one part of the room, why have all the lights on?
  • Clean and check diffusers and reflectors.
  • Use the most energy efficient bulbs available. If you have fluorescent tube lighting, replacing T12 tubes with T8s will reduce the lighting energy demand by 10%.

Compressed air systems

  • Can the pressure be lowered? Check the requirements of your equipment and tools (reducing pressure by 10% can lead to a 5% energy saving). Make small, incremental reductions, checking that operations are not affected.
  • Power delivered by compressed air is convenient but expensive – are there cheaper alternatives for some jobs?
  • Turn compressors off during breaks and when not required (an idling compressor uses around 40% of its full load).
  • Can power be delivered more efficiently? For instance, fitting a venture-type nozzle can use 30% less compressed air.

Water savings

  • Make sure you know where your water meter is. Regular meter readings can help you locate underground leaks before too much has been wasted.
  • Make sure urinals do not flush through the night. Devices which prevent urinals from wasting water can pay for themselves in a few months.
  • Check overflow pipes and cisterns for running water.

Other ideas

  • Why not have an energy champion within your organisation to take responsibility and promote energy efficiency in your business?
  • Research low-carbon technologies to retrofit business buildings for energy efficiency.

  • Support, advice and financial incentives may be available to help you achieve some of these ideas. 

Environmental Management Systems (EMS)

This assesses your business's strengths and weaknesses and helps you identify and manage significant environmental impacts. It makes you money by increasing efficiency and shows your environmental credentials to your customers. It will also make sure that you comply with environmental legislation and avoid a bad reputation or costly fines.

We adopted an EMS in 2009, which helps us to prevent pollution and improve our environmental performance. For more details, see: Environmental Management System. We went for a certified EMS and we are accredited to ISO14001. We did this as we have a significant environmental impact within the community and also to be fully transparent. This may not be needed for every business and depends on your size, sector and customer expectations.

For more details, visit:

  • Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). A not-for-profit organisation established to promote best practice standards in environmental management, auditing and assessment.
  • Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). A voluntary scheme for industry introduced by the European Commission (EC) in 1993. Its aim is to promote on-going improvements in the environmental performance of companies. Also, to provide environmental information to the public.
  • BSI Global. The National Standards Body of the UK, British Standards is among the world's leading providers of standards and standards products. Provides detailed information on ISO 14001. The international accreditation scheme for environmental management systems.
  • ISO/TC207 . The International Organisation for Standardisation formed Technical Committee 207 on Environmental Management in 1993. The scope of the committee is: 'standardisation in the field of environmental management tools and systems'. This is based on the philosophy that: 'Improving management practices is the best way to improve the environmental performance of organisations and their products'.

Advice and support

As well as benefits from being energy efficient, your business may qualify for advice and funds for energy efficiency measures.

The Energy Technology Product List (ETPL)

This a Government approved list of efficient plant and machinery. It includes boilers, electric motors, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. It is used as a buying tool for a number of professions and organisations. For the list, please visit: The Energy Technology List.

Carbon Trust

Advice to businesses, governments and the public sector on reducing carbon and a low carbon transition.

Reducing waste

Do not let waste compromise your business. Inefficient use of raw materials, packaging and technology can cost you thousands of pounds in lost revenue. It can also impact your competitive edge.

All businesses, even very small firms, can look for cost savings and lower their environmental impact. Look to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover packaging:


  • Buy only what you need. Think stock control and how to streamline processes across departments.
  • Buy recycled paper.
  • Purchase products without excessive packaging whenever possible.
  • Choose photocopiers and printers with double sided printing capacity.
  • Ask staff and colleagues to 'think before they throw'. Someone else may be able to use their old items.
  • Share resources in the office where possible - does everyone need their own stapler, glue etc?
  • Only print documents when you have to and, if you do, print on both sides of the paper.
  • Add a message to the bottom of all your emails that says, "Do not print this email, unless absolutely necessary". This makes colleagues and customers think before they print.
  • If you have a water fountain or cooler, bring your own glass or bottle and refill it. Plastic cups can be hard to recycle.


  • Refill toner and ink jet cartridges rather than buying new ones.
  • Use waste/scrap paper as note paper. Start a scrap paper box in your office. Get people to use this for memos and notes, rather than a fresh piece of paper.
  • Reuse Jiffy bags and envelopes.
  • Reuse envelopes for internal mail circulation.
  • Reuse cardboard boxes for deliveries or packages.
  • Reuse files, plastic wallets and document folders as often as you can.
  • Use rechargeable batteries when possible.
  • Donate surplus/unwanted office furniture to other departments, or to charity or voluntary groups.


Starting up recycling collections from your business can be easy. Talk to your waste contractors, they may be able to offer you recycling services that are cost neutral. It can even cost less than your current arrangement, with many offering flexible collections to suit your company's needs. Savings will continue to increase as the cost of waste disposal through landfill rises in the future.

Unused land

If you own empty land, make positive use of it! Turn it into a wildlife garden or create a pond and make links with your local community or school. You can get them involved in doing the work, or let them use it for educational purposes or recreation.

For advice or help on how to put your land to good use, contact:

Workplace travel plans

Travel plans are a package of measures aiming to lower the number of car journeys that people make. This is achieved by:

  • Giving viable options to lone driving ('single occupancy car use').
  • Making alternatives more attractive.
  • Reducing the need to travel, such as flexible working practices.

A workplace travel plan can cover:

  • Commuter journeys.
  • Business travel.
  • Fleet management.
  • Visitors to sites.
  • Deliveries.

Why have a travel plan?

  • Save money on the cost of running a fleet of vehicles, on mileage claims and other staff travel costs.
  • Reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change.
  • Improve staff health and well-being, encourage ways to travel that promote fitness and relieve stress. This leads to better morale and productivity levels.
  • Reduce parking space demand.
  • Improve ease of access to sites:
    • For staff (aiding recruitment and retention);
    • customers and deliveries;
    • reduce congestion on and around sites.
  • Combat local pollution from traffic fumes, creating a better environment for people working and living in the area.
  • Calderdale Council requires that new developments (over a certain size) implement a Travel Plan. This is a policy within the Unitary Development Plan.

More support

  • This is a free-to-join network of organisations committed to reducing the impact of the staff commute and business travel.
  • The benefits of membership include an entitlement to offer staff a 12% discount on the cost of annual public transport tickets.

Contact the West Yorkshire Travel Plan Network to find out more about how to join.

Webpage feedback

Was this page helpful? Rate this page helpful Rate this page unhelpful