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Savings bloom for Garden Centre after pruning resource use

After identifying ways to trim £9,940 from its energy, water and waste costs, Caulders Garden Centre in Fife applied for the Scottish Government SME Loan to help cultivate its resource efficiency ambitions.
  • Caulders Garden Centres investigated ways to reduce energy, water and waste costs 
  • The business identified nearly £10,000 worth of savings by reducing resource consumption
  • Management has applied for an interest free Government SME loan to help unlock these savings

“The free service helped us to identify ways to cut back resource use and bring the site up to Caulder’s high standards for efficiency and sustainability”, Colin Barrie, Managing Director.

Caulders is a family owned business that operates five garden centres in Scotland. When the business took on a new location in Cupar, Fife, its management had big plans to grow the site sustainably. 

Caulders approached the service to identify ways to upgrade its building systems to reduce energy and water consumption and manage waste more efficiently. 

The first thing that the noticed was that lighting in the garden centre was provided by energy intensive T8 and T12 fluorescent lights.  Replacing these with more efficient LED lighting could reduce energy use by 38,992 kWh a year, with an annual saving of £5,070 for the business. LED fittings also have a longer lifetime than fluorescent bulbs, reducing maintenance time and costs.  

The business was also interested in using water more efficiently wherever possible. The urinals in the men’s toilets, for example, operated on an uncontrolled cistern, which would automatically fill and flush at set periods 24 hours a day, irrespective of use. 

It was suggested that Caulders instal a water management control unit with timer controls set to match the hours of urinal use. Infra-red or ultraviolet sensors were also considered to automatically control flushing. Installing such a system could reduce water consumption at the Garden Centre by 157.7 m3, saving £350 a year. 

Options to install a rain water harvesting system were assessed, considering whether non-metered harvested water could be used to flush toilets and urinals. We concluded that a rain water harvesting system could further reduce water consumption by 207.3m3, saving the business £450. Theoretically, the system could also be used to water plants throughout the Garden Centre. 

Finally, ways for the business to reduce waste were explored. Caulders Garden Centres handle large volumes of packaging waste, primarily cardboard. This is collected in skips and removed by a contractor at a cost. Purchasing a cardboard baler would minimise the space that the cardboard takes up in the skip, reducing the frequency of collection and providing annual savings of £4,070. 

In total £9,940 worth of energy savings were identified, with a payback period of 3.3 years. Keen to begin renovations to its new site, Caulders applied for the SME Loan to fund its resource efficiency projects. The unsecured, interest free SME Loan is funded by Scottish Government and is available to help small businesses in Scotland make investments in resource efficiency that deliver big, long term savings. Resource Efficient Scotland is providing due diligence support to Caulders to help the business select the most appropriate and cost-effective suppliers and equipment.

We are here to support your business, too

Contact us on 0808 808 2268 or email us to find out how your business could benefit from using an SME loan to unlock savings.

Our free support for Scottish businesses is funded by the Scottish Government and by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73 million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme. This business was supported by Resource Efficient Scotland which has been relaunched as Zero Waste Scotland’s Business Energy Efficiency Service.

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