Going green ‘could cut operating costs’
Businesses in the emerging “green” sector are seeking to impress on Barbadians the value of using products and services which are deemed to be environmentally friendly.
According to managing director of Eco Breeze Environment Limited Duane Burke, one of the main challenges is to “dispel the myth” that eco-friendly products either didn’t work or were too costly.
Burke’s business offers virgin vinyl flooring, paints with low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and no-leak roofing products made from recycled polyethylene banana bags.
“Every time I go away I see more products that I can bring in to change people’s perception of what is actually eco-friendly,” he said.
“We can be eco-friendly, we can be environmentally minded and we do not lose on our quality and it can be actually cost-effective,” he said.
The managing director of Winston Enterprises and Cleaning Services, Winston Warren, said some companies were now becoming more environmentally aware following the proclamation of the Safety and Health at Work Act.
He said his company had been ahead of the game since he decided to make the company “100 per cent green” three years ago.
“For years we have been trying our best to bring a lot of [our clients] to the level that they’re supposed to be at.
“They’re now seeing the reason why you’re doing all the things you’re doing.”
Project manager responsible for renewable energy projects with Williams EverGreen David Greene said businesses could reduce their operating costs if they embraced renewable energy and energy-saving measures.
He said the Williams Industries subsidiary had embarked on the largest photovoltaic project this side of the Caribbean and intended to roll out additional power plants once the relevant legislative infrastructure was put in place.
“During the most of 2012 we employed some very young engineers, technicians and electricians to execute the project and as a result we would be able to raise and diversify the skill level of the industry and start a real thrust in renewables,” he said.
Greene said institutions including the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic wanted to include renewable energy on their curriculum while the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation had also been expressing interest in moving away from fossil fuels.
The trio’s comments came during the recent launch of the inaugural National Services Week which focused on new, non-traditional sectors including information and communications technology, the green economy and creative industries. (NB)