Businesses in Northern Ireland are being encouraged to adopt more resource-efficient measures under a new scheme that will offer funding for sustainable initiatives. Small firms often need coaching in making better use of their resources.
ARENA Network’s Sustainability meets Efficiency programme will provide assistance for up to 40 SMEs across the province who want to cut down on their waste arisings and achieve greater levels of recycling and recovery.
Funded by the Department of the Environment’s Rethink Waste campaign, the initiative will provide firms with free, innovative and proven tools of engagement to develop their environmental management.
Examples of practical support, solutions and advice will include one-to-one meetings with an environmental auditor, an environmental audit report outlining guidance on resource efficiency and cost savings for the organisation, and information on environmental legislation and compliance.
ARENA Network’s programme manager Keelin Hamill says the programme should help small businesses with waste prevention and reuse opportunities as well as improving their overall resource efficiency. To qualify for the support, each company must assign a member of staff to manage the programme on behalf of the organisation.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood has endorsed the scheme. He said: “Resource efficiency and using materials more effectively is simply a question of good commercial sense.
“I am pleased that my department has been able to support ARENA Network in this project to assist the business community which will help the environment and save money in these challenging economic times. I encourage businesses to apply as soon as possible.”