Ecodesk Shares Big Firms’ Green Strategies

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Ecodesk is offering a free database containing the sustainability strategies of the world’s largest companies

Companies looking to develop their own sustainability strategy can now use a free database from data publishing site Ecodesk.

Potentially, the database could  be a valuable tool for those organisations seeking to develop a green strategy because it contains 4,000 case studies of the sustainability strategies of some of the world’s largest companies, including Microsoft and DHL. It also outlines their cost savings.

This, says Ecodeck, makes its offering the largest free, public database of business carbon, energy, waste and water scores in the world, which should help other businesses cut costs.

Green strategies

Users can click on their own particular country, and the database displays a list of companies and their sustainability strategies. The database reveals that the UK, for example, has the sustainability strategies of B&Q, Tesco, Sage Group, Royal Mail, Vodafone, and BT, to name but a few.

The Website was officially launched on Monday and has been funded by £1.5 million in private equity and government grants.

The database itself contains 17,000 profiles in total and, according to the Website, it aims to become de facto business scorecard for carbon, energy, waste and water.

In addition to the database, the Website offers free online tools to help any-sized businesses to set up and manage their own sustainability strategy. It also provides full-scale analytics and comparisons, using interactive graphics, for sustainability data by country and industry sector.

There are also other resources available, including reports, guides, ebooks, software, training apps and linkback widgets.

According to Ecodesk, hundreds of organisations already control their own profiles on the site.

Sustainability reporting

“We want to encourage transparency and accuracy in carbon, energy, water and waste reporting, which in turn helps businesses of all sizes save money, while stimulating new investment in green tech, and renewable energy,” explained Robert Clarke, CEO of Ecodesk. “There are huge business and economic opportunities in this sector that people simply aren’t recognising. Ecodesk is here to change that.

Clarke said that Ecodesk supports every measurement standard including BSI, GRI and WRI.

“This is about having a strong business case to use sustainability to cut costs,” he said. “Good environmental stewardship is a natural product of this firm foundation.”

Cost control

The idea of using sustainability in order to cut costs is starting to gain some traction in the UK. In August, for example, the Environment Agency announced that it had cut its CO2 emissions by almost a fifth and urged other large organisations to improve their environmental reporting and performance.

Nowadays, most (95 percent) large businesses in the UK now have to comply with the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC). Organisations must register for the scheme if they used at least 6,000 MWh (Mega Watt hours) of half-hourly electricity during 2008, equivalent to an annual electricity bill of about £500,000.

But it is clear the CRC remains unpopular with the majority of British businesses, and in April the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) slammed the scheme as adding to the cost of business. It said it believed the scheme “lacks credibility and has lost businesses’ trust” and should be scrapped.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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