Green business champions in Ilford are recognised with awards from Redbridge Council

Ilford businesses leading the way in reducing their energy bills to help the environment were rewarded for their efforts on Friday.

Marks and Spencer and Boots in High Road; Bodgers department store in Station Road and recruitment company Adecco in Cranbrook Road all picked up Green Business awards at the Exchange Ilford shopping centre in High Road, Ilford.

Since November, Redbridge Council has been working with businesses to cut their energy consumption and honours businesses at either a bronze, silver or gold level for their achievements.

Retailer M&S has set a benchmark, receiving a gold certificate from Cllr Shoaib Patel, the cabinet member for environment, transportation and crime, for its Plan A scheme.

Along with stores nationally, the Ilford branch can monitor its gas, electricity and water use every half-hour on a company website, with lighting and heating controlled remotely.

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The store is also responsible for its own energy budget.

Neil Coleman, Marks’ regional energy manager for London, said: “It means the staff has a vested interest in achieving their targets.”

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The three other Ilford businesses picked up bronze award certificates, a level also reached by Hainault Business Park Limited.

At Boots, sales assistant Alison Dawe, who has become the shop’s energy champion, realised she could match up her empty lids for hairsprays and deodorants at home with products without lids in the store.

She said: “I thought I might as well take them into work.”

And Rai Holdstock, Bodgers’ store manager, said staff have been thinking about cutting down on use of lights and escalators.

He said: “Following the M&S model, it would be great to get the long-term payback in terms of using less electricity.”

Carol Hobbs, Adecco’s branch manager, said the business had made progress in recycling paper and cardboard and turning off lights.

The scheme is supported by Ilford Business Improvement District and Hainault Business Park, which ran a pilot with the council.

The council helps businesses to reduce bills with a free energy survey and software tools.

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