Business benefits of going green

Published Friday 30 October 2009

The New Forest National Park is helping local companies save money and the environment at the same time with a free audit tailored specifically to each business.

The National Park will pay for independent experts to suggest ways a business can operate more efficiently, helping to cut costs and reducing their impact on the environment.

The consultants go out to the business and spend a few hours assessing everything from waste, to electricity, gas, water, transport and lighting.

Businesses are asked to pay £125 towards the £250 cost of the audit and, if some of the report’s recommendations are then followed, the National Park will reimburse the business’s contribution.

Fitting flow reducers on taps and installing motion sensors on lights are some of the cost-saving green tips businesses have implemented.

The Mill at Gordleton, Hordle, near Lymington, brought in the consultants themselves two years ago. The hotel’s owner Liz Cottingham said: ‘It was a very comprehensive audit and very straightforward. As a result of the audit we’ve introduced things like ‘hippo’ bags in toilet cisterns to reduce water usage, swapped our gas patio heaters for halogen lamps which are more cost effective and energy efficient, and introduced soap and shampoo dispensers which has saved us £850 a year as well as reducing packaging

‘I would say to any business it is definitely worth a few hours of your time. We have been astounded at people’s reactions and have had an awful lot of publicity, mentions in guides and some awards.

‘The initial costs of doing the audit and introducing these measures have been saved several times over by the efficiency savings we’ve made.’

Claire Gingell, Sustainable Development Officer at the National Park, urged business owners to get in touch if they are interested as there are a limited number of free audits available.

She said: ‘This initiative strikes right at the heart of why the National Park is here – helping the local economy and working to safeguard the Forest for future generations.

‘The beauty of this scheme is it offers bespoke advice. The consultant’s report sets out which are cash-free changes to your business practice, which would incur low capital investment and which suggestions would require a higher capital investment. The businesses that have taken part so far have made significant savings as a result.’

Information and support to implement the recommendations are also available.

To find out more contact Claire on 01590 646664 or email


Media Contact:
Karen Evans, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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