A Green for Business Case Study

“The green for business programme helps prepare small businesses for the low carbon more resource efficient economy of the future.”

For a number of years now the Local Enterprise Office has realised the importance of sustainability and green policies. It has initiated many programmes to assist enterprises evolve and adapt their business models to include these changes and educate SMEs on their advantages.

Green for Business is a free programme that helps small businesses take the first step towards becoming more sustainable, giving them access to a green consultant who’ll show them the small changes that can have a big impact on their company.

Within the programme there are webinars, expert consultant mentoring, grants and cost savings available.

The most recent initiative by the LEO Waterford is the Glas Awards. These recognise and celebrate micro businesses in County Waterford who have made significant advances in bringing green principles into their business model. The inaugural Glas Award winners, Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen and Coffee House Lane. The Green Micro Enterprise of the Year, open to all with employees of 10 or less was won by Molloy's Butchers Ardkeen, and the Green SME of the Year, open to those between 11 and 20 employees was won by Coffee House Lane.

Keith Molloy of Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen is committed to reducing our environmental impact and play his part in preventing climate change, “We initiated policies with our suppliers whereby they were only approved to deliver produce to us in reusable crates - no single use cardboard or plastics were accepted. This was met with some resistance at first, but all suppliers are now on board. All packaging used on our products are either 100% home compostable or infinitely recyclable. This includes aluminium trays, compostable trays, plant based cling film, compostable labels and compostable counter and carrier bags.

“We encourage our customers to bring their own reusable containers and offer an incentive of 25% off to encourage this practice. We have also made significant operational changes throughout the store including reducing the amount lighting used within the shop and replacing all remaining fittings with LED lighting; we replace our fridge system to more efficient system that included doors (reducing energy costs by over 50%) and removing open top ‘coffin’ fridge due to its inefficiency; and optimising hot water consumption so that time spent heating our water has been reduced by 70%.

We also have a policy in store that ensures no energy is consumed unless absolutely necessary i.e. maximising use of fridge space, switching off unnecessary lighting etc.”

While Mark Bergin of Coffee House Lane has been a big believer in these policies for a number of years, engaging with the LEO along the way, “Our energy efficiency journey began with the green for business programme with the LEO where we did an energy survey and introduced energy monitoring in the company. The green for business programme helps prepare small businesses for the low carbon more resource efficient economy of the future.

“We fully upgraded our circuit board and electric panel in our production area and introduced energy monitoring in majority circuits so that we could identify times of day when machines were left running unnecessarily and using/wasting energy. This allowed us to lay the groundwork for energy useful plans. We started by replacing all outdated inefficient storage heaters with energy efficient temperature controlled smart radiators. Then throughout the building we replaced all our outdated florescent and halogen lights with energy efficient LED lighting throughout the building.

“In 2023 the crowning jewel to our investment has been the introduction of a 24KW peak 54 panel Solar PV array which has reduced our alliance grid to electricity by 90% since their installation in the early summer.”

Local Enterprise Office Waterford is here to help you start a business, expand an existing business or reach new markets. It provides advice, information and supports in starting up or growing your business as part of a network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices across Ireland.