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Green Business Initiative - EPA

The Green Business Initiative is an inter-linked suite of projects specifically aimed at helping all types of small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) save money and reduce their environmental impact. It is a free and confidential resource funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the National Waste Prevention Programme. The objective is to deliver substantive resource efficiency improvements and cost savings through waste prevention and reductions in water and energy consumption.

Origin Green collaborates with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Business Initiative on the TREE tool. The EPA’s Tool for REsource Efficiency (TREE) is a free online resource to help SMEs identify areas where savings can be made through improved environmental practices. It allows companies to carry out a quick assessment of their current business practices and awareness.

The process comprises a brief questionnaire which takes less than 15 minutes to complete. The company then receives a tailor-made report with recommendations on where efficiencies can be made. These saving typically relate to the management of energy, water and materials.

The TREE tool is a key part of the Origin Green Charter, allowing Origin Green members to reduce cost and their impact on the environment.

Companies interested in the Green Business Initiative can request a free site visit carried out by experienced Green Business advisors. Assessments are undertaken by professional environmental consultants. A report is then produced which provides recommendations for resource efficiency savings. Green Business also publishes case studies from some of these projects to demonstrate the resource efficiency opportunities that businesses have implemented and where they have realised real savings.

In 2017, Green Business visited companies in a number of sectors including Retail, Manufacturing and Food Processing. It also carried out 30 Resource Efficiency Assessments and identified €1.3 million cost savings opportunities, an average of €44,500 per company visited.

Over the last eight years, Green Business has worked with hundreds of companies throughout Ireland and identified more than €9 million worth of potential cost savings for businesses large and small, such as Kerry Foods, ABP Food Group, and Ballon Meats. The programme demonstrates how improved management and sustainable practices not only reduces carbon footprints but also outgoings. The TREE tool and an extensive library of case studies are available on the Green Business website.