The natural environment benefits your business in many ways, from provision of core resources to making the area attractive for potential employers to live and work in. A healthy environment also leads to increased staff wellbeing:
- 'The cost to the economy of physical inactivity is £1.7 billion to the NHS and £5.4 billion for work absence'
- 'Physical activity increases where participants have convenient and close contact to natural green space'
- 'One measure of the attractiveness of a park is the amount of nature it can offer to the visitor. Exercise becomes simply a method of travelling to, and engaging with, the benefits of nature'
- 'Biodiversity can have a direct-use economic value'
(Dr William Bird, Royal College of Physicians – author of Natural Fit)
Looking after nature CAN be good business sense:
Example- Waitrose Bracknell Energy Centre
In September 2012 a new energy centre at Waitrose Bracknell opened. The low carbon energy centre uses sustainable local woodchip harvested from Forestry Commission standard sustainable woodlands located within 15 miles of the store. The energy generates heat and cools the store, providing the majority of the supermarkets energy needs.
Other sustainability measures at the store include a 'green' roof covered with wild grass to improve drainage and provide an area for wildlife, a 'living' wall to promote wildlife movement around the site, hedges instead of fencing, nest boxes for swifts and bats, and a 'bug hotel' constructed with the help of local primary school pupils.
"Many of the features incorporated into the shop and car park make good business sense as they conserve the environment and help us save money. We're keen to roll out these new features more widely, particularly the-on site energy centres which offer massive CO2 savings and will reduce the amount we spend on energy in the long-run. We are confident that our Bracknell shop will achieve the BREEAM Outstanding rating – something that we will be very proud of, it will be one of the first retail buildings in the world to achieve this accolade."