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Resource efficiency

Resource efficiency is about getting more for less. Efficiency gains are a win–win situation, both for business and for the environment – an important process that could save your organisation a lot of money.  Research conducted for DEFRA in 2007 estimated the potential resource efficiency gains available to UK business, covering energy, material inputs, waste and water, to be as high as £6.4bn a year, with over 40% of this directly attributed to waste and material resource efficiency measures.

Workplace Law can help clients make financial savings from identifying ways to manage their raw material inputs, energy, water and waste more efficiently. The most obvious savings come from identifying ways to reduce consumption; however, there are many hidden costs associated with resources and waste that should be factored into calculations.


It seems inevitable that energy prices are set to increase over the coming months and years. Workplace Law helps clients reduce their energy consumption through implementing no-cost and low-cost measures as part of our Readily Achievable Resources Efficiencies (RARE) Support programme – a zero-cost initiative funded by shared efficiency gains. These energy efficiency measures could range from looking at behavioural use of energy in the building based on occupancy patterns, building service controls and housekeeping. Generally most of the efficiency improvements can be implemented quickly and at no or low upfront cost.

Payback periods on more capital-intensive energy efficiency projects can also be kept quite low where significant opportunities to improve performance exist. Where feasible we consider opportunities where investments in energy efficiency will lead to payback within the feasible terms of a capital investment.

Businesses are likely to receive a further boost as a result of the Energy Act 2011, which will see the introduction of the Green Deal – a market-led framework that will allow individuals and businesses to make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings at no upfront cost. Central to the Green Deal is a finance mechanism that will allow access to the finance needed for the improvements with repayment, in instalments, attached to the electricity bill. We’ll be keeping a close eye on developments here.


Every business is dependent on the availability of water, either as a raw material in manufacturing, for building services plant and equipment such as cooling or sanitation, or simply as drinking water for employees. Water is in short supply – for the global economy to carry on expanding at the same pace without improvements in efficiency, worldwide annual water consumption would have to rise from 4,500 km3 today to 6,900 km3 in 2030 – 40% above current accessible, reliable supply.  Workplace Law can help you manage it through the implementation of readily attainable water saving measures.

Material efficiency and waste

Most businesses can achieve significant reductions in costs through reducing the amount of materials they consume.  A reduction in material inputs leads to a reduction in the amount of waste produced.  This means that there are two main areas of savings – one on materials and one on waste disposal.  Furthermore, by applying resource efficiency principles to the material flows in your business, new opportunities can be identified for material use.

Waste is by definition a by-product of inefficiency: the construction industry alone is responsible for some 120 million tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation waste every year – around one-third of all waste in the UK. Workplace Law provides clients with a comprehensive understanding of waste in their organisation, developing strategies to design out waste and assisting with the implementation and monitoring of a waste minimisation programme.

We also help clients comply with waste management regulations.

Why choose Workplace Law?

Workplace Law is a leading provider of sustainability and environmental management solutions for business.

Our environmental practice has years of experience working within public and private organisations to develop and implement initiatives to reduce energy consumption, cut carbon footprint and improve resource efficiency to deliver tangible cost savings and wider social and reputational benefits.

We have a strong reputation in the property and facilities management sectors, having assisted end-user clients and service providers, with expertise advising large public and private sector organisations to help them meet the requirements of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly the Carbon Reduction Commitment).

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  • Reduction in raw material inputs, energy and water use, and waste.
  • Reduction in bottom line costs.
  • Compliance with environmental legislation, such as carbon reduction and waste minimisation.
  • Improved positioning within the supply chain.
  • Increased competitiveness.

Case studies

Kuehne + Nagel: Managing environmental risk

Workplace Law is delivering the training of Kuehne + Nagel environmental champions staff through a year-long programme –delivering the four-day IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management in a combination of elearning, in-house courses and as part of public courses at the Workplace Law Executive Centre.


BNP Paribas Sustainability Estates Training Package

In 2012 Workplace Law was asked to develop and deliver a property management-focused sustainability training course for BNP Paribas Real Estate UK. This is a branch of BNP Paribas bank, which provides a number of property services including development, management and investment of property portfolios across the UK.


Assisting Shelter: Implementing ISO 14001

Workplace Law was appointed in the final quarter of 2012 to assist Shelter with the implementation of an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS). Shelter wished to reduce its environmental impact, secure funding and make operational cost savings.


Helping Chaps Ltd get CHAS accredited

"In 2009 Chaps Ltd recognised that it needed to improve its health and safety systems. We changed our Health and Safety consultants to Workplace Law in order to give us a fresh approach towards our management of health and safety and to gain specialist construction advice.

"By using their expertise and experience Simon and Maria have guided us into developing a health and safety system that has achieved CHAS accreditation and given our customers and principle contractor’s confidence in our management of health and safety. They have always been available to offer advice when needed and to provide independent site inspections and audits which are often required by our customers.

"Both Simon and Maria continue to support Chaps Ltd and have become an important, integral part of our Health and Safety Management System."



"When reviewing our need for Employment Law Support, a number of companies were shortlisted and Workplace Law were chosen due to the professionalism and advice they provided. Since engaging with them they have proved to be an excellent ‘sounding board’, guide and always at the end of an email or call to give practical, commercially sound advice. The support given for a ‘handed over’ tribunal was second to none and a positive outcome. I’d recommend Workplace Law to any business that was looking for comprehensive, professional and sound employment advice." Caroline Lupton, Anson
"Having the Workplace Law Annual Support Contract in place provides our business with essential on-going day to day HR support in dealing with the wide range of personnel issues we face and in supporting our managers. As well as being legally sound the advice is both pragmatic and commercially focussed with an excellent response rate provided to our enquiries. All the HR Consultants in the team are approachable, professional and extremely capable in helping us work through the many diverse challenges we face to ensure that people are treated lawfully and fairly. The support ranges from day to day email and telephone advice to excellent consultancy service for more complex issues. We hope to be able to continue with this partnership well into the future and would have no hesitation in recommending the HR support that Workplace Law are able to provide to other businesses." Gill Baglin, Brewers
"We were very pleased with the way Workplace Law carried out our fire risk assessments in the College and hostels. They worked very closely with us throughout the process and produced a comprehensive set of risk assessments that met our requirements perfectly." Bob Smith, Magdalene College
"The proactive stance taken by Workplace Law CDM-C’s on our projects has created a positive attitude to problem solving between the design, delivery and client teams. In many cases our clients are introduced to the CDM regulations for the first time as ‘lay clients’ and need a high degree of hand holding to stay with the spirit and letter of the law. This could lead to costly delays in the works. This has proved not to be the case and all our key objectives are met." Mark Myers, The Harmsen Group
"On the whole I have attended many courses and undertaken a variety of qualifications over the years and this course has been by far the most valuable to me in terms of the knowledge, confidence and enhancement to my working capability and therefore fantastic value for money. I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this course to anyone looking to develop their operational HR skills or for managers having to deal with front line people matters." Jennifer Caswell, Great Yarmouth Port Company
"I really want to thank Workplace Law for the fantastic work you have done on our highly complex project. I know it was not easy to gather all the sensitive information from so many people. Myself and the MD have read the report and are both delighted with the clear and easy to understand way the whole report is laid out. The recommendations were spot on and it certainly helped clarify the issues. I am sure we will be calling on your services again." Thank you. Karen Todd, ACS International Schools

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