By Evie Andreou
A NEW scheme introduced to reduce costs by being green is producing results for businesses.
Hellenic Bank said it has already saved €1m in electricity bills by following the Green Offices programme and was one of the eight businesses and offices awarded with the Green Key and Green Offices eco-labels.
The eco-labels were presented by CYMEPA, the non-governmental organisation dealing with the environment and clean seas, and a member of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
“Being environmentally-friendly can save you a lot of money, especially on energy bills,” said Dr. Michael Ierides, general secretary of CYMEPA.
CYMEPA awarded the Green Key to Loxandra Inn from Kathikas and to the sea-food restaurant chain Ocean Basket.
“We are very proud to have hotels and restaurants from Cyprus to receive this eco-label, which is awarded to more than 2,100 establishments worldwide” Ierides said.
The Green Key is an eco-label for tourist enterprises aimed at promoting sustainable tourism and to contribute to the prevention of climate change.
The programme began in Denmark in 1994 and was adopted by FEE in 2002 with 28 countries taking part in the programme.
The Green Offices eco-label was introduced by CYMEPA in cooperation with the Environment Commissioner’s office in order to help small companies take their first environmental steps.
“It is a pioneering programme and I believe it will be a great honour for Cyprus for the Green Offices eco-label to become international,” Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou said.
The eco-label was awarded to four Hellenic Bank regional branches, Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd, Intership Navigation Ltd, Lemissoler Navigation Ltd, Staroil Ltd, B&A the Best MCC Ltd, and the Environment Commissioner’s office. In January, the eco-labels were awarded to a number of other hotels and Hellenic bank branches.
“Companies will save money on energy bills but the real benefit is that their employees become more aware,” Ierides said.