Hard economic reality drives waste reduction

ONE in three Scottish firms are cutting out waste and reducing water usage to trim costs as they battle against the ongoing economic uncertainty.

According to Zero Waste Scotland, the Scottish Government agency which holds its annual conference today, businesses are increasingly turning to "green" measures as a way of reducing their outgoings.

Almost a quarter of Scottish companies plan to introduce environmental strategies next year as they seek to run a tighter ship when the downturn ends.

Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead will use today's conference in Edinburgh to outline how reducing waste will benefit Scotland's economy.

Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: "It is now clear that the business community understands the link between improving their environmental impact and making financial savings.

"There are ample low or no-cost actions that could improve a business's bottom line and in the current economic climate such actions could make a real difference. Many Scottish businesses are taking their environmental impact seriously - but there is more work to be done."

According to Zero Waste Scotland, the most popular measure taken by businesses was cutting back on rubbish. Other actions included changing the behaviour of employees, working more effectively with suppliers, making environmentally friendly changes to processes and reducing water use.

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