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TOPIC: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener?

What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 9 months, 1 week ago #1

With the Civil Estate boasting property holdings of around 5,957 buildings covering 9,669,126m2 and an equally impressive £3billion of running costs there must be many excellent examples of saving carbon but In your experience are carbon reduction projects always an investment rather than a cost?
Last Edit: 9 months ago by Kauser Aslam.

Re: What’s the reality can you save money whilst becoming greener? 9 months, 1 week ago #2

You can but it depends on a complete view of the (discounted) costs and the savings over the full life. I have constructed several business cases in the past for a commercial business (not education establishment, but the principle is the same). Usually, it comes down to the capital investment cost, the interest rate to borrow the capital (or the opportunity cost of not investing elsewhere) and the discount rate you apply to the future cash flows (which can be varied depending on your view of the economic outlook).
However, is it all just about short term money? There is a generation to educate in how to conserve energy - something which we have forgotten over the last 30 years!
Email me for further info on producing a business caase if you need help!

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 9 months ago #3

I believe there are many great projects being undertaken, however whether they actually save money (once the resource to implement them is taken into account) is stillunder question.I would be interested to see where it is believed this is the case however.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 9 months ago #4

Oil Works is one of three programmes run by Work This Way: a social, environmental business which uses a unique mix of training, work experience and paid employment to help long term prisoners prepare for their release back into society. Research shows that being sustainably employed is one of the biggest influences on the risk of an ex-offender desisting from breaking the law. Offenders need support to get ready for living an independent and productive life away from the institutional influences of prison, and to prepare for the current world of work.

In 2008 Work This Way became a finalist in the NESTA Big Green Challenge and was able to set up a bio-fuels qualification and production unit in HMP Ford, Sussex. Used cooking oil (UCO) from local businesses and HMP Ford was converted into bio-diesel for trial use in prison vehicles. The nationally accredited qualification was developed to provide a health and safety standard and for offenders on resettlement placement with Work This Way, to gain skills and confidence. They were also provided with training in Site Supervisor Safety, a construction industry award. The programme known then as Waste Oil Recycling Project (WORP) was recognised for its innovative approach to environmental and social needs by being awarded:
• West Sussex Social Enterprise Network Social Enterprise of the Year, 2009

Developing the collection of UCO and the links to employers enabled the programme to be cited as an example of good practise with a public sector organisation in the following:
• The Carbon Trust, in their Carbon Standard Report for NOMS, 2010
• The Innovation Unit (in partnership with the Cabinet Office) Green Next Practice
Programme in 2010
In 2011 the programme was renamed as Oil Works with funding from The Body Shop Foundation and Southern Water. This venture to expand bio-fuels production as a reliable business income for Work This Way included the trial of kerb-side collection with a defined neighbourhood. Local drain blockages caused by the dumping of Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG) was a significant problem. Over 2011-2012, over 16000 litres of UCO was collected and processed, 20 offenders trained and two employed as technicians. This equates to enough oil to fill 270 Ford Fiesta fuel tanks.
This project was named as the winner of:
• National Water Industry Award for Fats Oils and Greases Reduction Initiative of the Year 2013.

In September 2012 the Big Lottery Fund awarded Sustainable Sheppey funds to help educate and engage the local community in local sustainable responses to the threats from climate change. Sustainable Sheppey is a partnership coordinated by Swale BC and includes 8 other partners including local community and charity groups as well as Southern Water. One of these projects involves funding for setting up Oil Works - Kent: a development of the Sussex based project based at HMP Standford Hill. This project includes the use of an efficient processor, a heated building, support and integrated approaches to community engagement from Sustainable Sheppey partners, a greater source of local Used Cooking Oil especially from the three Sheppey prisons, three years development funding and a new retail outlet.
Additional funding is being sought for other recycling, reusing and up-cycling projects.
Offenders from HMP Standford Hill will be provided with training, work experience and support to progress into paid employment. Work This Way employs ex-offenders as staff and through its Work it Out scheme also provides employee and businesses mentoring for companies that want support while offering ex-offenders employment.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 9 months ago #5

Back in July 2012 – after months of determination and hard work – staff at Norwich Jobcentre attained a recycling rate of 80% and ever since then has maintained that level, give or take one or two per cent either way. We have achieved this by:

• dramatically reducing the number of general waste bins in the office (from one per desk to one between ten) to force staff to consider what they are throwing away,

• introducing and managing recycling collection points around the office,

• encouraging staff to place all non contaminated paper and card, confidential or otherwise, in the large blue phs waste bins the contents of which are recycled,

• periodically emailing out reminder messages to all staff about the recycling facilities in the office,

• organising a staff survey to raise awareness of sustainability issues in the work place with a view to reducing our carbon footprint as well as increase the number of Energy Champions in the office and

• producing a quarterly e-newsletter called The Green Top that goes out to all staff.

We continue to strive towards increasing our recycling rate, aiming for 90% and beyond.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 9 months ago #6

The London & Home Counties NINO Environment Group is run by volunteer Champions who demonstrate their commitment to the Governments agenda of embedding sustainability principles in the workplace.

As well as performing their main duties the Group demonstrate its commitment in improving our organisations sustainability, this has resulted in significant changes in staff behaviour and efficiency savings.

The following sustainability initiatives have been introduced;

Environment policy produced.
Set up a Shared Folder for ease of access of Green Issues and ideas.

Environment Notice boards put up
Environment Notices put up encouraging staff to turn lights and pc’s off when not in use, report dripping taps, report thermostats not working, and to use the stairs instead of the lift.

Issue environment friendly top tips.
Annual Environment Survey’s conducted confirming a change in staff attitude.

Environment Champions stay late to perform checks to ensure electrical equipment is turned off and temperature levels are appropriate.
Staff waste paper bins removed to ensure all customer information kept secure, as well as all paper recycled and put in the confidential waste bins.
Meet Bi-monthly and issue “Environment Matters” - minutes/newsletter of their environment meetings to all staff which includes environment facts and tips for the home as well as the workplace.

Put on the agenda at staff meetings.
DWP Sustainability newsletter also distributed to staff.
Environment Crossword competition held.

Plants obtained for back room areas.
Office Heating Times checked to ensure they are appropriate
Swap Shop set up to share excess stationery, a successful stationery amnesty was held to return to stationery all duplicate items.

Staff regularly encouraged to reduce computer files in order to save on IT storage costs, a spreadsheet is sent to staff to do an automatic calculation, nearly all our staff are now at nil cost to the Department.

A successful “Re-use, Re-cycle” event conducted for Climate Week.
An annual “Green Day” event is organised to highlight the importance of Green Issues and raise awareness. Staff are encouraged to wear something green on the day and to bring in an unwanted gift or duplicate item to re-cycle in a free staff raffle.

It is highlighted to staff that sustainability is included in the competencies required to do their job i.e “uses resources flexibly and creatively in ways that promote diversity and support the principles of sustainable development”, Green issues also included in new staff induction.

Successes forwarded to DWP Sustainability for sharing.
Staff competition to produce the Motto - "Keen to be Green"
To reflect aspirations a table of measures produced to show at a glance what initiatives are in place at each of the London & Home Counties sites.

A green calendar of events produced and issued.
As there is no recycling facility other than for paper, bins have been obtained for plastic, glass, and cans, and environment champions take these items to Local Authority recycling bins.

A comparison of the 2010/11 year to September 10, compared with 2011/12 year to September 11, indicated an impressive reduction of 21% energy usage.

Paul Baylis – Environment Chair LHC NINO
Camden NINO Hub
Last Edit: 9 months ago by Kauser Aslam.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 8 months, 3 weeks ago #7

There is no doubt that we can all save money by being environmentally friendly. All resources cost someone money because everything we use has to be paid for - when at home it is our money, when at work it is our employers'. If we work for a public organisation then public funds pay for work resources so, effectively, that's ours too!

The problem with getting colleagues at work to be environmentally friendly at work is to make them care when they're not personally responsible for paying the bills. I try to make it fun, but informative, using means such as quizzes containing surprising statistics to get people discussing. I also set an example (though I know I'm considered a bit odd because of this) - I bring in towels & tea-towels to reduce kitchen roll usage; I provide lidded buckets for our eating space for both food waste and paper towels. (These are taken home and used for either composting in my 'hotbin' or burning on my wood burning stove). I use fluorescent card to inform - 'in this bucket all food waste / teabags / coffee grinds please' 'in this bucket all used kitchen towel please'and have a large fluorescent label on the general rubbish bin reminding people about the other bins close by.

After much good humoured nagging most people now COMO - i.e. when they take their Card Out of their machine at the end of the day, they switch their Monitor Off. Everyone also now uses scrap paper for notes instead of the specially purchased blocks they used to use. I still find paper in the bin at times and always make a (good humoured) deal out of it. Constant reminders seem to work best of all.

I am also in cahoots with our cleaner who now 'saves' waste from bins (there isn't much) and collects it into one bag instead of putting part-filled bags out daily. My next step is to ask him to weigh it and also for our cardboard / recycled paper to be weighed so we have an accurate recycling figure. Time is my biggest enemy as I will probably end up having to do it myself!

Sometimes, being the office green champion feels lonely - the environment is the last thing on people's minds and I find that very frustrating. But I will never stop trying to raise awareness as I don't know how to live any other way, so I have learned to live with my frustration.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 8 months, 3 weeks ago #8

The Museum of Liverpool, which opened in July 2011, was built complete with its own green combined heat and power (CHP) energy scheme that meets the energy needs of this national museum, situated on Liverpool’s famous waterfront.

Situated in the former Great Western Railway Building next to the Museum, the advanced CHP system guarantees substantial annual cost savings and reduces C02 emissions by 884 tonnes each year, equivalent to the environmental benefit of 88,400 trees.

The attraction of CHP for many customers in the public sector is the opportunity to cut energy costs whilst also delivering on climate change goals. The private sector project partner who installed the system is one of a growing number of energy services companies that are helping public sector clients to invest in new energy plant that will save them money.

Phil Redmond, Chairman, National Museums Liverpool, explained: “We always wanted the Museum to demonstrate that carbon savings can be delivered in landmark public projects, but this is as much about good management as saving the planet. The cost savings that the energy project has realised will go towards ensuring we deliver the best possible experience for visitors to the Museum.”

Graham Meeks, Director of the Combined Heat and Power Association said: “Projects like the Museum of Liverpool point to the enormous value of efficient, low-carbon technologies such as CHP in delivering the cost and carbon savings the public sector desperately needs. With the enormous strain on the public purse, economies in energy spend will help free up resources for the delivery of core services from museum displays through to teachers in class rooms and nurses on wards. The energy services sector will be a key partner in delivering the cost and carbon savings that the Government is looking for”.

The energy centre was up and running at the Museum of Liverpool by the end of September 2010, ensuring completion of the Museum itself was achieved using sustainable energy before it opened to the public in the summer of 2011.

The Museum of Liverpool’s award-winning green creditials:

Museum & Heritage Awards 2012
Winner: Sustainability award

Merseyside Environment Awards 2012
Winner: Carbon Champion award

Chamber Awards 2012
Regional winners: Sustainability

Energy Institute Awards
Short listed: Sustainability award

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 8 months, 3 weeks ago #9

Reduce Server storage costs and save money whilst getting greener

• Each server “earns” 200mb of storage per user enabled on it. E.g. 20 users = 4000mb. There is no cost for this.
• In addition, each individual has 200mb of personal storage, without charge.
• Charges are incurred at a rate of £2.94 per 200mb, per month, once either of these limits has been exceeded.
• Although this doesn’t sound much, SWW currently contributes £3,339 per month (40k per year) to excess storage costs.
• Not only does keeping files longer than necessary add to storage costs, it could also be breaching the Data Protection Act.

Since November the Living Within Means Team has helped to advise offices to reduce the District server storage from 142,905 MB in November 2011 to 92,727 MB in January 2012. This is already helping to achieve savings of £30,000 per year.

Here is simple free great idea, why not do it now?

Did you know - By compressing all your files/folders, you can immediately reduce your storage by 40-50%. The following steps do not detract from housekeeping or deleting files but should be used in conjunction –

 Right click on the folder you want to compress
 Click “Properties”
 Click “Advanced”
 Put a  against “compress contents to save disk space”
 Click “Ok”, then click “Apply”
 Mark ● against “folder contains sub folders etc” and click “ok”
 The system will then compress your files
 Any files it comes across with a problem – select Ignore
 Once complete select “Ok”
 You can see when a file has been compressed as the text is in blue – rather than black – if you need to uncompress you follow the same process but deselect the option for compress files.

Do you have any other ideas?
Last Edit: 8 months, 3 weeks ago by Kauser Aslam.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 8 months, 2 weeks ago #10

• It is important that workstations are returned when no longer required.

• Each District has a target of 104% PC to Staff ratio. This extra 4% does not necessarily mean that we can hold onto extra PC’s – the 4% is financial and is meant to fund the delay between PC’s being returned and charges ceasing. The ultimate goal for the District is a 100% PC to staff ratio.

• Each desktop costs £71 a month and each laptop costs £86. Keeping 1 PC more than needed costs over £850 per yr. If every site in SWW did the same then cost would be almost 20k.

• As staff leave or transfer to other offices then PC’s must be returned. This Leaving dept checklist (IT) can be used as appropriate.

• To remove a PC, complete a RTPI Request and send to FLSM’s.

• If a member of staff leaves or joins your cost centre, but remains at the same site, then a UA34 must be completed to ensure PC’s are charged to correct cost centre and keep your site costs correct.

• Any “lodgers” in sites from DMO, Compliance, or other Departments e.g. Fraud, Pensions, CSA etc must have their PC charged to their own cost centre. Contact individuals line manager to complete UA34.

• With the high number of moves experienced in both recent and future times, it is important that these actions are completed without delay.

• Group Mailboxes – these are charged on a monthly basis. As these cease to be used they should be deleted. Complete an RPTI request to remove.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 8 months ago #11

We use this walkaround checklist to help identify key no-cost energy saving opportunities within your workplace. Using the checklist doesn’t require any technical knowledge and includes actions which are easily implemented by engaging staff and service providers. Conducting regular housekeeping walkarounds will help form the basis of an action plan to reduce your energy use and carbon footprint.


1) Are radiators and other heating surfaces obstructed by office furniture?

Move the furniture away from the radiators to allow the warmed air to circulate around the office – The ESS FM Team will advise on how to do this safely.

2) Are windows and doors open when heating or air conditioning is on?

Work with users to ensure doors and windows are opened only to refresh the quality of the air. Seek first to control temperatures by improving the heating system settings and better using thermostatic radiator values. Report ongoing problems as an information call to your service provider helpdesk

3) Is the temperature above 22°C? The recommended temperature for an office is 19-22°C. In open plan offices a 1°C drop in average space temperature can cut fuel consumption by about 8%.

Contact your service provider to better control office temperatures.

4) Are thermostatic radiator valves (TRV) on radiators being used inappropriately? Comfortable temperatures of 19-22°C are usually maintained when TRVs are set to ‘3/4’. If the valve is kept at ‘5’ or ‘max’, there is no control over the amount of heat emitted from the radiator

Work with users to educate them about thermostatic radiator valve settings.

5) Is air conditioning coming on when the temperature is under 24°C or when the heating is on? Air conditioning should not be switched on until temperatures reach at least 24°C.

Report to your service provider for resolution.


1) Is lighting in unoccupied areas on when not needed and especially outside business hours?

Work with users to educate them about switching off lights when not needed. Place switch off posters and stickers in key locations. Identify a light champion(s) who will switch off all office lights at the end of the working day.

2) Is external lighting on during the day, when it’s not needed?

Report to your service provider for resolution.

3) Are blinds open when there is sufficient daylight available?

Work with users to educate them about exploiting natural daylight and turning off lighting.

4) Are large items of furniture such as filing cabinets obscuring daylight?

Move the obstructions that obscure daylight – The ESS FM Team will advise on how to do this safely.

5) Are lights on in toilets and store cupboards when not being used?

Work with users to educate them about switching off lights when not needed. Place switch off posters in key locations.

6) Are windows, skylights, luminaires and sensors dirty?

Report to service providers for resolution.


1)Are computer monitors left on or left on standby?

Work with users to ensure monitors are switched off whenever not in use – that’s whenever away from the desk whether for a meeting or a comfort break and especially at night and weekends.

2) Are photocopiers left on or left on standby out of business hours?

Work with users to ensure photocopiers are switched off at night and weekends.

3) Are photocopiers fully on when not being used during business hours?

Enable the standby mode for photocopiers when not in use during the day.

1) Are there draughts or damage to windows, window frames and doors?

Report to service providers for resolution.
Last Edit: 8 months ago by Kauser Aslam.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 8 months ago #12

7 Cost Effective Measures to Save Money and Carbon

1. Remove high wattage bulbs from spotlights. These are the ones usually directed on display posters, but have no additional benefit to general office lighting which is usually more than adequate. Discuss with your BSM first to obtain their agreement.

2. Each floor maintains its own lighting needs e.g. Customer facing lighting not activated until 0900. Lighting switched off in areas that are low need, or immediately after use, e.g. staff canteen & conference / meeting rooms. Office lights left on overnight use enough energy in a year to heat a home for almost 5 months.

3. Arrange for any outside lighting to be de-activated form March to October.

4. Ensure staff shut down their PC's and Monitors at end of day. Monitors only can also be turned off during Tea / Lunch Breaks to maximise savings. Even in standby, monitors are consuming energy and generating heat.

5. Arrange for boiler times to be re-adjusted to suit your individual office needs, buildings stay warm long after heating is switched off so do we really need to have heating still on until we close. Ensure heating systems are deactivated between April and October.

6. Ask your Energy Champion to check radiator thermostats to ensure mean temperature is kept or turned off in low use areas.

7. Once heating has been reactivated arrange for any air exchange system to be de-activated. Some offices may not know that they even have these systems and as a result may be on throughout the year when it only needs to be active during summer months.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 7 months, 1 week ago #13

I believe the majority of such carbon saving projects are good investments, so long as the biggest impact projects are tackled first and technology keeps improving. As organisations hit the biggest savers first (server rationalization, office relocation, travel reductions etc.) the rate of return on further projects is marginalized. Funding for such investments needs to be made when necessary and justified, not just when there is a pot of money available which may potentially lead to investments with poor rates of return being made – potentially damaging future investments.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 7 months, 1 week ago #14

The National Gallery prioritises the responsible use of energy in running its site and conducting its activities.
Over the years the National Gallery has taken a number of measures to reduce energy consumption and the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The Gallery recently participated in the central government carbon management programme, which assisted in meeting carbon reduction goals over the next 10 years.
Working with the Carbon Trust, the Gallery established a cross-departmental team that brought forward ideas on carbon reduction from across the museum. These ideas are described in the National Gallery’s Carbon Management Plan.

Carbon Management Plan
The National Gallery's Carbon Management Plan includes measures the Gallery has taken – and will continue to take – in order to reduce carbon emissions by 43% by 2014/15. The plan also underpins potential financial savings to the organisation by reducing emissions.
One of the most ambitious measures outlined in the plan is the commitment to install LED lighting in the Gallery by the spring of 2013, which will represent a saving of 85% on the energy used to illuminate the paintings in the collection. Find out more about LED lighting at the Gallery.

Please find a link below to the Gallery’s Carbon Management Plan:
Last Edit: 7 months, 1 week ago by Kauser Aslam.

Re: What’s the reality, can you save money whilst becoming greener? 7 months ago #15

I think it is very important to share good practice this link will take you to a Framework Agreement for the provision of electricity supply, ancillary services and additional goods, works and services


I hope this is useful and look forward to hearing of other projects
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