Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Businesses pay for the water they use, so making water efficiency an every day part of your work practices will save your business money as well as reducing its impact on the environment.
Start by monitoring water use and see where you use most water. This allows you to focus efforts on where most water is being used, and to record the reductions over time.
You can train and encourage staff to:
You can use eco-towels. These can be made from a variety of materials such as bamboo pulp, or made from wood pulp which is a by-product, normally thrown away. They are more absorbent than towels, biodegradable and single-use, meaning you are guaranteed hygiene and you don’t need any detergents, water and energy to clean them.
Segregated paper towels can be taken for composting or anaerobic digestion. Check with your waste contractor.
Elan Hair Design, winners of a VIBES awards has removed washing machines and switched to compostable towels, and installed a water-saving system and low flushing toilets, enabling it to reduce its water demand by more than 80 per cent.
Read the case study on the VIBES website
It is possible to almost eliminate the use of detergents by adopting a cleaning system that uses microfibers to clean mechanically rather than with water. A number of products exist that are designed for different applications, such as floor cleaning, furniture cleaning etc.
Also, rather than use disinfectants and anti-microbials it is possible to achieve a high standard of hygiene by using steam cleaners. These produce a small jet of steam and have low energy requirements. Hand held units are often rated at a maximum of around 1000watts.
There are products that combine microfiber and steam cleaning technologies.
Any business that wants to reduce its water use should contact:
Ecohair and beauty have developed their Virtual Salon. You can log on and enter the virtual salon to learn about sustainable hair care in a fun and engaging way. Once finished you can get the Sustainable stylist certificate. Why not get all staff to work through the salon and be eligible for the Sustainable Salon Certificate.
Find out more ands sign up for your free access to the virtual salon.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects
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