Green Foundation case studies
The award-winning programme has helped more than 300 business make real tangible changes in the workplace, save money, grasp new opportunities and even go on to win their own awards.
Read personal experiences from previous participants.
Social enterprise: Fifteen Cornwall
Steve Wright, Facilities Manager
Fifteen Cornwall is part of a global social enterprise, founded by Jamie Oliver to empower those who deserve a second chance in life. Their restaurant, where budding young chefs complete apprenticeships, is based in Cornwall's beautiful Watergate Bay.
You come back to work with renewed vigour. And that filters down slowly through all the other staff.Steve Wright
Since completing Green Foundation, Steve has championed energy use and waste management at Fifteen, installing a bio-digester, which converts 100% of the restaurant's food waste to bio-fuel for use in their hot water systems.
Steve says it has significantly reduced landfill as well as Fifteen's energy bill. He is now conducting an energy audit at the restaurant, and working other businesses based in Watergate Bay to develop better waste management processes.
He says of the course: 'You come back to work with renewed vigour. And that filters down slowly through all the other staff.'
International chain: Trenython Manor
Nick Waddington, Resort Manager
Trenython Manor is a Club La Costa World Resort, one of a handful of hotels from around the world chosen to represent the organisation here in the UK.
This hotel and its management are now pioneering the sustainability agenda for Club La Costa and have won awards for their effort, including a Gold award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
We've saved £32,000 in electricity and water costs alone.Nick Waddington
Since Green Foundation, they have installed a composter to turn the food waste from 27,000-plus meals a year into rich fertiliser, which is saving the company money – as well as lots of waste.
Trenython Manor has actually made its biggest savings by reducing energy consumption. Practical initiatives, such as using phosphate-free cleaning materials and changing their printers, alongside increasing staff awareness have resulted in a drop of over 21% in just over a year.
Other solutions introduced at the resort include harvesting rainwater to flush toilets, using electric vehicles on the site for housekeeping, and developing wildlife habitats and hibernation sites.
Resort Manager Nick Waddington tells us that, in the first 14 months after Green Foundation, 'we saved £32,000 in electricity and water costs alone when compared to the same period the previous year'.
Corporate: Ocean BMW
Louise Nicol, Accounts Administrator
Louise encouraged her employer to participate in Green Foundation, after stumbling upon the website. 'Obviously we are a car company; we sell big cars that use fuel… I didn't know how I would be perceived on the course by other people who are probably smaller companies'.
Louise found the course atmosphere to be open and relaxed: 'It really put me at ease and I was able to share my information from the company I come from and also find out that everyone is in the same boat... we are all trying to make things better really'.
I'm a lot more knowledgeable now, and can speak with confidence to anyone.Louise Nicol
Ocean BMW has now developed an environmental policy and office lights have been replaced with modern reactive fittings, providing an improved quality of light as well as better efficiency.
They've taken steps to reduce heat wastage by installing switches on workshop bay doors and reviewing company recycling policies.
On a personal level, Louise has grown in confidence when it comes to talking about sustainability: 'I am actually a lot more knowledgeable now than I ever was before, and so I can speak with confidence to anyone. I have officially taken on the extra role of Environmental Programme Co-ordinator at Ocean BMW, giving me the opportunity to influence staff and customers in making positive changes.'
SME: Plough to Plate
Sherry Boocock, Director
'We've come away with lots of tips to improve our business, and we also have exciting plans for collaborating with other businesses,' says Sherry Boocock, of Plough to Plate.
The food distribution company 'buddied up' with catering company Chaffins Foodservice for Green Foundation's two-day business exchange. The two companies are now sharing space in delivery vehicles, reducing both their fuel consumption and carbon footprints.
It's great to feel ahead of the game.Sherry Boocock
The joint venture led them to think about how excess packaging impacts on fuel and waste costs, too, and Plough to Plate has decided to include this as one of their supplier assessment criteria.
Taking part in Green Foundation also highlighted for Sherry just how many sustainable things the company already does that they should be talking to their suppliers, staff and customers about.
Sherry says: 'It's great to feel ahead of the game, saving the company money and contributing to saving the planet!'
Social enterprise: National Lobster Hatchery
Dominic Boothroyd, General Manager
'Green Foundation has given me the opportunity to see how simple changes within the business can make our businesses more environmentally sustainable, while at the same time reducing on-going costs,' explains Dominic.
It's given me the opportunity to see how simple changes can make our businesses more sustainable, while reducing costs.Dominic Boothroyd
Working at the National Lobster Hatchery, Dominic is no stranger to high utility bills. But thanks to his time on Green Foundation, he has introduced low-cost changes which are already reducing water and energy consumption at the centre several months on.
His team has adopted the 'traffic light' colour coding of switches used widely at the Eden Project, so that lights are only turned on when needed. The Hatchery is also planning to introduce water-efficient pumps and is looking for funding to install a solar water system to replace their old immersion heaters.
Dominic says the Green Foundation course has helped him to question other aspects of his business, too, and they're now looking at introducing an ethical retail policy for the products stocked in the Hatchery gift shop.
SME: Nationwide Print
John Marriott, Assistant Production Manager
'Green Foundation was very insightful and made me think about the many components within our supply chain,' says Nationwide Print's John Marriott.
The company had already made operational changes including insulating the factory and moving to vegetable-based inks and Forest Stewardship Council accredited paper. But coming on Green Foundation helped John realise that more could be done and that a key area of focus should be to reduce power consumption.
Green Foundation was very insightful.John Marriott
The business has since decided to go ahead with a photovoltaic solar installation, which will see Nationwide Print save 13 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – the equivalent to the annual electricity use of four houses.
John's ambitions don't stop there: 'I am starting to look into other energy saving ideas now such as turning the vending machine off at night. Deliveries are being grouped more often, which helps to cut down the mileage and in the forthcoming year I hope to look into changing the oil heating in the factory.'
International supply chain: Worlds Apart
Jo Major, Quality Assurance Development Manager
Based in Cornwall, and with offices in Hong Kong and China, Worlds Apart is a global business designing and producing award-winning products that make family life easier and more fun, including toys and furniture for children.
While Worlds apart is already an ISO14001 registered firm, Green Foundation helped manager Jo Major realised that they could take sustainability even further.
'The course made me realise that there is a lot more we can do,' she says. 'It has focused my thinking on where the priorities could be and where some more quick wins are.'
Green Foundation was fantastic and Eden's enthusiasm really gave it a buzz.Jo Major
One of those quick wins is that Worlds Apart has already reduced transport costs by processing product returns at their central warehouse facility in the Midlands, rather than transporting them to Cornwall for further handling and processing.
They have also installed photovoltaic panels on the factory, saving £1,500 a year. The business is currently investigating low-energy lighting and green IT solutions.
'Meeting other people from different organisations and establishing links with those who could provide further advice has been invaluable,' she told us. 'Green Foundation was fantastic and the enthusiasm that Eden portrayed really gave it a buzz.'