September 2, 2008

Why Going Green Can Be Good for Your Bottom Line

By Anthony Harrington

NO COMPANY these days can afford to take green issues lightly, so The Hilton Environmental Awareness Award was always going to be hotly contested, with many entrants having an excellent story to tell about their focus and efforts in this area.

Craig Gardner, area general manager of the Hilton Glasgow, points out that having won this award last year, the Hilton Group was very aware of "the fundamental difference that environmental strategies can make to a company".

He says: "A robust sustainability strategy is at the core of all good businesses and can bring real rewards to a company's bottom line. The Hilton Glasgow is committed to implementing a responsible approach to energy consumption and waste reduction across all areas of the business and has a dedicated environmental sustainability programme.

"Our vision is to become the industry leader in environmental management and contribute to a sustainable society by raising awareness and motivating change in behaviour, taking responsibility for our impact on the environment, improving our performance and promoting environmental best practices and, of course, improving our financial results."

Gardner praises "the innovation and dedication to environmental practices" displayed by this year's entrants. "They have been outstanding and each company has much to be proud of in its achievements in this area to date," he says.

The finalists include Maximillion, an events and communications agency; Scottish Power, and Robert Wiseman Dairies.

Maximillion has been at the forefront of "thinking green" in the events industry, with a strong emphasis on sustainable practices and initiatives, both in the way it goes about structuring and conceiving the events it offers and in its day-to-day practices.

The company has adopted the "Triple Bottom Line" philosophy, made up of the "3Ps" - people, planet and profit - and combines this with "reducing, reusing and recycling" as the yardstick for its activities.

Robert Wiseman Dairies supplies one in four of all the fresh milk that reaches our fridges. With seven dairies and 15 distribution depots in Britain, and 4,500 staff, the company actively seeks ways of reducing its environmental impact, through looking for ways to reduce water usage and the amount of effluent produced in the processing of milk.

It has, for example, installed an effluent treatment plant at its dairy in Bridgewater, Somerset, which brings all effluent up to the standard of bathing water. It has also launched a "zero waste to landfill" project that ensures all waste leaving any of its sites is recycled rather than landfilled. Its production, distribution, milk procurement and garage operations are now fully accredited to ISO 14001, the "green" standard.

ScottishPower, now part of the Iberdrola Group, has been reporting on its environmental performance for some 15 years. It was the 2007 Scottish Business in the Community Large Company of the Year, in recognition of its commitment to environmental and social issues.

ScottishPower has made huge investments in wind power, tidal power and clean coal, all aimed at substantially raising the amount of green energy available to businesses and consumers.


Hilton has a strong commitment to the environment and sustainability policies and is delighted to sponsor the environmental awareness award. The Hilton Glasgow scooped this award in 2007 after implementing sustainability measures across the business. Through training, each team member has been made aware of how the business can be more environmentally friendly and works towards helping the hotel meet its goals.

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