Date: 
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 11:48

Businesses in Cornwall are making lasting New Year’s resolutions after completing the Eden Project’s sustainability course.

The organisations have taken part in the Green Foundation programme designed to help them react positively to new government legislation and gain a competitive edge in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Since it was introduced last September, 31 organisations have taken advantage of the free, 10-day scheme funded by the European Social Fund.

These include Hall for Cornwall, Fifteen Restaurant and Newquay Zoo as well as accountancy firms, designers, printers, surf and diving companies, dock yards, farmers, artisans, hotels, brewers, butchers, and toy manufacturers.

As well as using Eden’s world-famous site as a ‘living classroom’, Green Foundation participants learn in their own and peers’ workplaces through an exchange programme to encourage links between businesses and Eden itself.

After engaging with the issues surrounding sustainability, understanding ways to save costs and spot opportunities in the changing marketplace, many of the companies have now made resolutions to help green their businesses and get ahead in the low-carbon economy in 2011.

Some of the Green Foundation pledges are:

  • Atlantic Diving, Newquay - using alternative marine fuel for their diving boats
  • Bude Meat Supply - investing in better refrigeration and developing a new range of products
  • Hall for Cornwall, Truro - purchasing eco paints to use in the theatre
  • Oghma Project Services, Trewidland, near Liskeard - collaborating with others to find new uses for reclaimed wood
  • Hooper Graphics, Redruth - producing a website to promote a community environmental clean-up project
  • Philip Sanderson Accountants, Bude - planting trees on a nearby piece of wasteland to offset their carbon outputs
  • Atlantic Brewery, Newquay - changing a fermenting vessel to reduce energy use and save long term costs
  • Trenython Hotel near Fowey - purchasing a bio-composter
  • Computoz Systems, Bude - investing in a community allotment

Steve Mobbs from Bude Meat Supply said: “Without the impetus that I’ve gained from being involved with the Green Foundation, I don’t think I’d have gained the extra enthusiasm. It has had a very positive effect on not just myself and the business, but also my farmer’s business and the sustainability of a rare breed product, as well as the sourcing of local produce.

Elaine Parker from Oghma Project Services, said: “Green Foundation has in one word been fantastic. It’s prompted us to do what we know we should do, which is business planning and exploring what we do and how we do it, but actually don’t give ourselves time to do. It’s been enlightening in a way I didn’t expect.”

“You pick on a problem you might have like waste, and that’s ended up with somebody who’s got an interest in making things out of reclaimed wood saying to me ‘is there any chance I could come along to your sites and pick up what I need?’

“Construction as a whole generates a lot of waste, so any little thing we can do to make a difference. If everybody did it, it would make an enormous difference.”

Dagnija Innus from Hall for Cornwall, said: "Cornwall is perfectly placed for green thinking, but it’s almost impossible to make progress as a county when businesses are working on their own. Green Foundation is so important because it could bring about a snowball effect. Hopefully all the people who take part in the programme are going to go out and start a ripple effect.”

Tom Stevens, Green Foundation project manager, said: “We started Green Foundation because we know, from our own work, how complex issues around sustainability can be.

“Reducing carbon emissions and resource use, coming up with greener products and services, and motivating staff to think about new ways of doing business can help companies stay ahead of the curve in a competitive market.

“With the start of 2011, now’s a great time to take on the Green Foundation challenge of incorporating sustainability into businesses’ operations while gaining a competitive advantage in the process.”

Green Foundation is a 10-day programme spread across three months and will be running every fortnight until September 2011.

For more information or to book a place, contact Sarah Ross on 01726 818597 or email info@greenfoundation.org.uk or go to www.greenfoundation.org.uk