I am a business in Galway City. What should I know in relation to the environment?
The most important consideration for any business in relation to the environment is compliance with all relevant legislation. Further details on environmental regulations and legislation can be found at http://www.epa.ie/pubs/legislation/.
However, it is becoming ever more important for businesses to, not only comply with legislation, but to also ensure that environmental sustainability is at the heart of all strategies and business objectives. Improving environmental performance or 'going green' can save businesses money, can increase competitiveness and can increase consumer demand. For more information, check out the website www.greenbusiness.ie.
Can Galway City Council offer support to 'green' my business?
Yes. Galway City Council can help you take the first steps in addressing waste in your organisation and assist you in improving what you are already doing. A wide range of supports are available for businesses, from presentations to information material. The Environment Education Officer can visit your business and assist with waste audits and the preparation of action plans. The main focus of Galway City Council's support will be waste prevention.
What are the benefits to my business of 'going green'?
One of the main benefits associated with improved environmental performance is cost savings. Increased resource efficiency, coupled with reduced waste generation, can lead to significant cost savings for any business.
Other benefits include improved customer relations and consumer demand, development of a positive company brand and, of course, improved compliance with environmental legislation.
What is waste prevention?
Waste prevention should always be the first step in waste management. Rather than thinking 'what bin should I put this item in?', think 'did I really need this item in the first place?'.
By not generating waste, we can eliminate the need to handle, transport, treat and dispose of waste. We can also avoid having to pay for these services.
Galway City Council is involved in a number of waste prevention projects and is an active member of the Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN).
What is the Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN)?
The Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN) is a cooperative programme between the Environmental Protection Agency's National Waste Prevention Programme and local authorities in Ireland. LAPN aims to build capacity in local authorities for promoting waste prevention at a local and grassroots level for the benefit of their regions. More information is available on www.localprevention.ie.
Galway City Council has been an active member of LAPN since it's conception in 2010 and draws on the support and expertise of the network when working with businesses, organisations and communities on waste prevention.
I would like a waste audit of my business. Who should I contact?
Contact the Environment Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Galway City Council can provide you with assistance and guidance in managing your waste effectively. They can also provide you with the contact details of other organisations that may be able to assist you, such as www.greenbusiness.ie.
Are there any award schemes for green businesses?
Yes. The Green Hospitality Award is an environmental certification standard for the hospitality sector that is recognised nationally and internationally. The Green Hospitality Awards scheme also offers an Eco-Tourism award. More information is available on www.gha.ie. Also, the annual Green Awards recognise and celebrate green best practice in Ireland across 23 different categories. More information is available on www.greenawards.ie