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Business & Economy

Utility Alliance boss hails green impact of remote working

A North East energy consultancy has significantly reduced its carbon footprint by shifting to remote working as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Utility Alliance, which is based in Hartlepool and has offices in Newcastle and Sheffield, saved more than £30,000 in fuel costs over the last three months, as the majority of its field sales representatives started visiting clients virtually.

The company employs more than 400 people and had already introduced a flexible working policy to improve the work-life balance of its employees and reduce carbon impact, but this has been accelerated by the pandemic.

Working together with telecommunications provider, Nice Network, to ensure that staff were set up and ready to work remotely from their own homes, Utility Alliance had to act quickly to maintain business operations.

Darren Sutherland, chief executive of the utilities firm, praised the impact remote working has had and thinks it could change the way businesses operate in the years to come.

He said: “We had a plan in place with Nice Network prior to lockdown in case we needed to quickly get staff working remotely, and as soon as the Government made the announcement we were able to put that in place.

“It has been a difficult period for businesses, but we have been able to maintain our service in the B2B sector and we have taken plenty of positives from the last three or four months.

“Those positives are not always centred around the bottom line of our figures, we take our environmental responsibility very seriously and when we look back at the lockdown period you can see the positive impact we have had.

“We are delighted to be able to welcome our staff back in a phased return to our offices, but moving forward I am sure some of the things we have learned throughout the COVID-19 situation will be implemented into how we run the business in the future.”

Sunderland-headquartered Nice Network, which also counts the NHS, Nike, Puma and Husqvarna among its client roster, specialises in providing business communication and IT solutions and has helped many of its clients transition to working remotely over recent months.