Construction SMEs missing oportunities

Small business owners operating in the construction industry could be missing out on environmental opportunities because they are not aware of the huge demand in the capital for retrofitting.

Many of London’s buildings were built decades ago when sustainability was not a major concern for architects and construction companies. Now, however, the owners of business premises and residential houses are much more interested in making sure their building is a green as possible; not just to be environmentally friendly but also to save them money on their bills.

To help businesses in this area, the charity Institute for Sustainability has produced a set of leaflets aimed at experts and tradesmen who might not have realised the money to be made in converting buildings to become more efficient and environmentally-friendly. The charity’s CE, Ian Short, hopes that the guides will not only help small businesses to secure some much-needed work in this time of financial turmoil, but will also improve the sustainability of many of London’s most wasteful buildings.

‘Building Opportunities for Business: Low Carbon Domestic Retrofit’ deals with various aspects of the retrofitting industry, including marketing, managing waste and how to carry out ongoing maintenance projects.

Supported by the Institute for Sustainability’s FLASH scheme, which aims to provide free support to those involved in the construction industry from start to finish, the leaflet has been produced with the assistance of the government’s Green Deal. The Green Deal has already pumped millions of pounds into schemes to improve the environmental record of a number of industries, and is aiming to insulate over 14 million homes in Britain before 2020, creating a quarter of a million jobs into the bargain.

The Institute for Sustainability has secured the support of almost 600 small and medium-sized business for its FLASH scheme since it was launched just over one year ago.