Scotland to launch resource efficiency service

A £3 million contract to run an advice service ‘to help Scottish organisations reduce energy, water and raw materials costs’ has been awarded to a consortium led by the Energy Saving Trust (EST).

The government-funded contract was awarded by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) to a consortium comprising the EST, Ricardo-AEA, Grant Thornton, Mabbett and Associates, and Energy Savings Scotland Advice Centre contractors.

The contract will be used to fund a Resource Efficient Scotland (RES) advice and support service, which will commence operations on 1 April 2013 and provide Scottish businesses with ’free support, training and access to funding to help… implement resource efficiency measures’.

It forms part of a wider £7 million annual project aimed at improving Scottish use of resources. This includes targeting such areas as food waste in the hospitality industry and improving the energy performance of buildings.

Resource Efficient Scotland

RES will replace the separate efficiency advice services currently provided by Zero Waste Scotland, the Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust and will be the ‘first’ time advice on energy, water, materials and waste can be accessed from a single European service.

It will include a telephone and web-based advice service, staffed by ‘resource efficiency experts’ and provide ‘managed support’ such as on-site consultancy visits. 

According to ZWS three main aims of RES are to:

  • provide a new ‘integrated business and public sector advice and support service’ to give Scottish businesses advice on finance, resource efficiency and resource usage measures;
  • give sector-specific advice for industries that the Scottish Government believes have ‘significant energy saving potential’, including construction, food and drink, hospitality, textiles, chemicals, the public sector and manufacturing; and
  • provide a service to monitor and evaluate workstreams ‘leading to the continual development and improvement of the Resource Efficient Scotland programme’.

It is hoped the service will help save Scottish business around £7,000 each, or £2.9 billion as a whole.

‘First within Europe’

Commenting on the contract, Director of Zero Waste Scotland Iain Gulland, said: “We believe bringing together government-backed advice and support on energy, water, raw materials and waste in this way is a first within Europe.

“The Scottish Government’s economic strategy recognises the fundamental contribution resource efficiency can make to economic competitiveness – the economies which flourish in the 21st century will be those which prioritise efficiency and green growth.

“This new service has been shaped around the needs of businesses and the public sector and it is focused on helping organisations take practical action.  We look forward to working with Energy Saving Trust and partners to deliver this support to those who can benefit the most.”

Scottish Environment Minister Richard Lochhead added that RES would “make it easier” for Scottish organisations to save money and help see Scottish firms become “more competitive” and “help grow the economy”.

Mike Thornton, Director of Energy Saving Trust Scotland, said: “The Energy Saving Trust is delighted to be appointed by Zero Waste Scotland to run the Scottish Government’s Resource Efficient Scotland advice and support service.

“Together with Ricardo-AEA and our other partners, we look forward to working with Zero Waste Scotland to deliver this important new service to businesses, public bodies and community sector organisations across Scotland in ways which will maximise the benefits to Scotland’s low carbon economy.”

Read more about Resource Efficient Scotland.