As promised in my previous post (scroll down to read it) I’m going to discuss some of the recent events I’ve attended as part of my work with Waste Aware Business.
The first was on Monday and involved a 6am start as it was in Dundee and I live in Edinburgh. It was the launch event for the Abertay Centre for the Environment’s Eco-Partnerships initiative which will try to encourage businesses in the local region to club together and pool their waste, either so one business can use another’s for its own purposes, or so they can share the costs of recycling. For more information visit the ACE website about the programme. From what I heard on Monday they have some very serious ideas about changing the way businesses think about waste. One of the speakers was John Ferguson who gave this presentation (PDF) and was really impassioned about the need for change and had some very interesting ideas about ways in which we can collaborate to make a difference. The way I describe it probably makes it sound a bit wishy-washy but John made the idea of an integrated approach to solving the waste, energy and water problems sound very plausible.
The initiative involves the ACE project officers going into businesses to provide audits on Waste and Energy. They will then provide a report to show improvements that can be made. They will also look at the business’s waste stream and see if another local business might be able to use some of the waste in a kind of small scale industrial symbiosis. Interestingly, at a time when the UK Government is looking to simplify the business support programmes, these services already exist in Scotland in the form of The Business Environment Partnership (BEP) who carry out audits and provide reports and the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) who match different businesses up so they can use each other’s waste. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so and in fact I applaud the fact that this will offer a localised and regional support network to businesses that BEP and NISP might otherwise miss with all the work they already have to do throughout Scotland. I have offered to support and promote the programme through the WAB website.
Oh yes, the event also coincided with the launch of Green Week at the University of Abertay so I took along a couple of banner stands and a few leaflets so students and visitors to the University will see information about both Waste Aware Business (you know the link by now!) and Waste Aware Campus as they enter the foyer.