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Free business efficiency advice in Waihi

Hauraki district’s cafes, restaurants and accommodation providers are being offered a free workshop to help them run their businesses more sustainably and efficiently.

Environment Waikato’s Sustainabiz service - which offers sustainability advice for small to medium businesses – has begun 2009 with a focus on helping hospitality industry businesses improve their environmental performance.

In conjunction with Hauraki District Council, EW will run a workshop in Waihi on Tuesday 24 March.

"There’s growing recognition that improving sustainability can help your bottom line, enhance your reputation and boost staff morale, and that consumers are becoming more discerning with their buying decisions," Environment Waikato sustainable business advisor Barnaby Smith said.

"Waste from the hospitality industry is a really big issue and we need to do something about it, particularly with the Waste Minimisation Act coming into force in July this year. This will start to drive up the cost of waste disposal for small business owners."

The hospitality industry is responsible for around 10 per cent of all waste that goes to landfill in the Waikato.

"Organic waste, particularly food waste, is a major contributor to leachate problems in landfills and the release of the potent greenhouse gas methane. It also contains a lot of energy and useful nutrients that could be used to condition our soils and grow more food," said Mr Smith

The hospitality industry are also quite energy and greenhouse gas intensive, and with the costs of energy on the rise, this will become a more signficant part of their operational expenses. There are opportunities out there for hospitality businesses to be investing in energy efficient technologies with financial assistance from government.

"At the workshops we will be talking about some practical steps that hospitality businesses can take to minimise waste, become more energy efficient and use resources more wisely. This information is particularly important in the current economic climate, as there are potential cost savings for businesses, and also the prospect of competitive advantage if they market themselves right."

Those interested in the Waihi workshop can register through Kasey Hilton (kasey.hilton@ew.govt.nz or phone 0800 800 401). For more information on the workshops, please contact Barnaby Smith on (work) 07 859 0584, (mobile) 021 816 513 or email advice@sustainabiz.co.nz.

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