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How will adopting sustainable practices help my business?

By demonstrating a commitment to good environmental practice, you will increase your appeal in the market and attract a wider customer base.

Also, by reducing your carbon emissions, you can protect your business from;

    * more expensive energy supplies and higher insurance premiums,
    * a drop in business, with customers looking elsewhere for a more socially responsible supplier,
    * a need to start meeting even stricter government regulations and legislation.

Simply by switching machines off after use, or turning the heating down in warm weather, you can make real savings on your energy bill. And just reducing it by 20% could add the same amount to your profits as a 5% increase in sales. (www.carbontrust.co.uk)

How do I source local produce for my business?

Accommodation and catering businesses who offer local produce, provide visitors to Snowdonia with the true taste of the region, thus enhancing their holiday experience and opinions of the area. Buying local supports the local economy. There are many food producers/suppliers in Gwynedd who can provide your business with quality, local produce.

For more information go to www.gwyneddgynaladwy.org.uk, and click on the Local Food link.

Also try www.bigbarn.co.uk where you can type in your postcode for a list of suppliers in your area.

Do I have to have renewable energy to be green?

No!  Whilst installing a renewable energy system can help to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your business, there is a lot of action you should take before considering installing renewables.

Your electricity and heating fuel consumption will account for a large part of the carbon emissions of your business.  Read your electricity and fuel meters weekly and undertake a walk-round audit of your property so that you are familiar with your energy consumption.

The best way to reduce your emissions is to eliminate wastage.

*  make sure your buildings are as thermally efficient as possible by eliminating draughts and insulating lofts and walls

*  review the controls and settings on your heating system, for example make sure the heating is turned off in unoccupied rooms.  

*  If you have a large property with more than one boiler, it is worth getting an expert in to look at ways of running it more efficiently.  For example, installing zoned heating controls, and return valves can save you money and carbon.

*  when you replace appliances make sure you purchase energy efficient models, for example, provide eco-kettles in rooms and  low energy bulbs.  New low energy products are becoming available all the time - so if you haven't looked at low energy bulbs for a while, go back and take another look.

*  Review your energy usage on a regular basis.  

Once you have cut your energy wastage to an absolute minimum - then it's time to think about renewables!