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Green business innovation celebrated at EcoVate event

Efficiency and cost savings amongst SMEs recognised at Green Business Innovators 2010 Awards, 10 June 2010.

On Thursday 10 June, Middlesex University’s Centre for Environment and Safety Management for Business (CESMB), London-based SMEs, and members of EcoVate partnership, will celebrate ‘green’ innovations achieved by SMEs in the past year.

At the event, EcoVate’s Green Business Innovators 2010 awards will be presented, in recognition of good environmental practice in four categories - manufacturing, micro-businesses (5-10 employees), service providers and an award for the best new eco-initiative, making significant environmental or technological changes within the business. The event will be held at The Dickens Inn, St Katharine’s Dock, London E1.

Middlesex’s CESMB initiated and now manages the EcoVate partnership. The partnership offers support to London-based SMEs, guiding them in working towards good environmental practice and identifying and reducing their organisation’s environmental impacts. Six delivery organisations form the partnership - CESMB, Enterprise Enfield, London Energy Efficiency Ltd, North East London Energy Efficiency Advice Centre, London Sustainability Exchange and London Borough of Camden’s Sustainability Team.

EcoVate is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF) and is a free service, providing between two to five days environmental business advice to eligible London-based SMEs.  Key areas where

EcoVate consultants work with clients include cost reduction, resource efficiency, compliance with legislation and meeting requirements of standards. This includes support to implement environmental management systems, which help to structure the management of environmental issues in an organisation and carry national and international reputation.

In the past 18 months, the EcoVate team has worked with over 100 London SMEs, across all business sectors, helping them to improve environmental efficiency in areas such as waste management, resource efficiency, water and energy use, green procurement and transport.

Recent successes include work by CESMB with a north London sports club, where environmental improvements and reduced energy consumption have achieved savings of over £1,500 annually, and advice on installing additional energy-saving equipment will contribute to further savings.  Another recent client, a recruitment agency based in central London, now has the potential to save £7,500 per year on energy costs, as a result of advice on more effective use of office space.  CESMB also drafted an environmental policy for the business, which means the business now meets this aspect of green procurement criteria and can therefore compete for contracts with public sector clients.

Ankit Kapasi, Head of Operations at CESMB said: “Small businesses sometimes lack the time and expertise to focus on environmental initiatives. EcoVate gives them the opportunity to access expert advice and to benefit from the consultants’ review and recommendations for their business. As well as improving environmental and business efficiency, excellence in green performance can open new business opportunities for SMEs, through recognition as being ‘fit to supply’ for external contracts. Many public sector organisations, including the London 2012 Olympics, look for good ‘green’ credentials in their suppliers, and the ‘Green Business Certificate of Recognition’ which EcoVate clients receive is regarded as proof of their achievements in this area”.

A judging panel - one member from each EcoVate partner organisation – has the unenviable task of selecting the best entries for each Green Business Innovators 2010 award category, from over 30 applications.  All the businesses which have worked with EcoVate will also receive a ‘Green Business Certificate of Recognition’ issued by CESMB, marking their achievements. The event is also a chance to hear about other SMEs’ experiences in introducing environmental initiatives and to network with environmental service providers.

Journalists are welcome to attend the event – for further details, please contact Lucy Jones, Press Office, Middlesex University.

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