P151 - Taking up the Green Challenge - Croydon Reports (West Croydon) Issue 61, October 2004

Businesses in Upper Norwood have been proving how environmentally aware they are by taking part in a Green Business Challenge.

Over the past year, businesses have been encouraged to sign up for the initiative to help promote the area and raise awareness of environmentally friendly actions.

The Green Business Challenge was set up by the council's environment and sustainability team in partnership with Croydon Energy Network and Envirowise.

Businesses from pubs and restaurants to food stores and hairdressers were asked to commit to at least one environmental improvement such as using less energy, recycling more, saving water, buying green or travelling less.

Since the start of the campaign:

  • 26 businesses have signed up to the council's business glass recycling service and 29 have expressed an interest in a proposed cardboard recycling service.
  • more than 50% of staff are using sustainable transport methods for travelling to work such as public transport, walking or cycling.
  • 8 businesses have taken up the offer of a free energy survey and many have taken on board the recommendations such as changing to low energy light bulbs.
  • 9 of the area's estate agents are handing out energy efficiency homebuyers guides to prospective buyers. If you would like a copy call 0845 27 7200.

Alison McNaught, partner in the Domali cafe on Westow Street explained why they were attracted to taking part. She said:

"I think it's a very good scheme and reflects our whole business ethic. We try to be green within our business but with the help of the council we are able to do more in the way of recycling and saving energy. Anything that helps improve the local area is good both for the environment and the community as a whole."

One big change the Domali Cafe has made has been to switch to a Fairtrade coffee brand which has been welcomed by customers.

Sharon Baldwin, district centre manager has been involved in co-ordinating the scheme. She said:

"I really wanted to work alongside traders, helping them to make improvements to their businesses while enabling them to work collectively on making a positive difference to the area."

The challenge was rounded off with a celebration event earlier this month, in order to thank traders for the improvements they have made and for them to share their experiences.

The Green Business Challenge paves the way for a new programme called ENVIBE which rewards and supports Environmental Business Excellence across Croydon. ENVIBE will operate in a similar way to the Green Business Challenge but on a borough-wide basis. Businesses that can successfully show that they take their environmental reponsilbilities seriously can apply for an award. For more information visit the ENVIBE website, call 020-8760 5536 or see next month's Croydon Reports.

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8/10/04 Last Updated 8/10/04