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Schuh Enters Big Savings With Water Supplier Switch



Italian Shoes by Magnanni via Flikr

A Scottish retail giant is set to slash annual overheads by around £62,000 – courtesy of a change in water supplier and the identification of the contribution of a small burn.

Schuh, the high street footwear group, has switched its water retail account for its 15 Scottish branches and Livingston headquarters to Thames Water Commercial Services Limited (TWCS) and as a result is set for £20-22,000 a year savings.

In addition, its 245,000 square foot Bathgate distribution hub has slashed its projected wastewater bills by around £40,000 per year, after the TWCS team identified that run off drainage was flowing into a local burn, rather than into the sewer network where it would incur business charges. This followed a competitive tendering and evaluation process managed on behalf of schuh by independent consultants Inprova Energy.

Colin Temple, Managing Director at schuh, said: “When we set out to switch supplier we were looking primarily to reduce our like-for-like bills. However, the team at TWCS has been very proactive in offering further services that save us time and money and quite simply go beyond what is expected.

“The extra attention to detail was evident at our Bathgate warehouse, where the knowledge and expertise of the TWCS team in spotting the significance of the burn quite literally unearthed new savings that would otherwise have gone completely unnoticed.

Previously, the facilities team at schuh had been faced with individual bills at every individual property in Scotland; however they will now receive a single consolidated bill as part of the TWCS service, saving valuable time, helping reduce transactional costs and removing hassle. This benefit was one of the key aspects behind the recommendation by Inprova Energy to appoint TWCS.

Alan Munro, who heads the Scottish team of TWCS, said: “This is quite an incredible story, in that we have been able to help schuh reduce their property drainage charges significantly simply through identifying that rainwater being discharged from the roofs  of the property was actually being discharged into a nearby burn and not into Scottish Water sewer network. Although this situation is not too common, it is something all businesses should be aware of as property drainage charges can potentially make up a significant part of any business customers water bill.”

Savings made through identifying that the water was being discharged into the burn, on top of the savings through switching to TWCS, has significantly helped to cut costs for the Scottish retail institution.

It belies a more important message

Alan Munro added: “It belies a more important message: firms must look to suppliers that are capable of delivering services that go beyond simple cost-cutting and in doing so take advantage of the great opportunities that Scotland’s trailblazing open water market offers.”

Since 2008 – the first time in the world that a retail market was opened to competition – around 130,000 non-household customers in Scotland have been able to choose who can supply their water and wastewater services.

The sector is still led by Scottish Water subsidiary Business Stream, the default supplier following market deregulation, but this is simply because many businesses remain unaware of the potential cost saving and other benefits of moving to another supplier.

TWCS offers businesses and organisations the added value of developing strategies to better manage their water and waste services; even offering educational support to help enforce cultural change to show employees how to use water more efficiently.

Operating in Scotland for three years, TWCS is continuing to attract many leading Scottish businesses from across a wide range of sectors including banking, finance, hotels, leisure, commercial, education and retail sectors.

It has been based in Edinburgh but has moved to Linlithgow to allow it to work from a central Scotland base to service its customers and growth ambitions.

The firm is part of the Thames Water Group, the UK’s biggest provider of water and wastewater services serving 15 million customers in London and the Thames Valley, and with a heritage dating back 400 years.

Inprova Energy is the UK energy & water division of procurement outsourcing specialist, Inprova Group.

Water market reform in England

On 1 April 2017, the non-domestic water market in England will be fully open to competition, allowing businesses to switch water provider in the same way as Scottish businesses  already can.

Inprova Energy has published a free eGuide to help organisations in England prepare for water market reform.

Download the Inprova Energy  guide ‘Preparing for UK water market reform and competition’

Further information: 


Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green



A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:

  • They arranged a carpool with their friends.
  • They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
  • They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
  • My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.

My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.

Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm

People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.

How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:

There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.

People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before

Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.

One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:

“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”

Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative

Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.

Cost and Simplicity

A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.

Green Weddings Are the Future

Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.

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Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?



Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.

Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.

Fulfilling a Genuine Need

Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.

Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.

After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.

Creating Opportunities

Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.

Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.

Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.

A Fundamental Foresight

Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.

However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.

They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.

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