Pembrokeshire Cottages Are Never Far From the Water

Pembrokeshire cottages are never far from the water

In a county surrounded by the sea on three sides and almost torn in half by the mighty Cleddau River, Pembrokeshire cottages are never far from the water.

The Preseli’s, know fondly by locals as mountains are in fact wild rolling hills and ancient moors, criss crossed by old drovers tracks, home to wild ponies and sheep. The terrain offers excellent opportunities for walking and horse riding. The highest point at approximately 1760′ affords impressive coastal views on a clear day, all the way across the Irish Sea to the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland, Snowdonia in the north, the Brecon Beacons to the east and the Bristol Channel and West Country to the south.

The highest pub in Pembrokeshire

Quirky Tafarn Sinc in Rosebush, is the highest pub in Pembrokeshire, complete with red zinc cladding, sawdust strewn timber floors, cottage comforts, log fires, Welsh conviviality and ‘food just like Mam used to cook’.

Less than a half hour drive south brings you to Narberth, a delightful old market town full of distinctive little shops, no chains here, excellent restaurants, delis and an award winning local history museum. This is where savvy Cardiff visitors choose to shop ’til they drop.

The celebrated Pembrokeshire Coastal Path begins at Amroth where a visit to National Trust Colby Gardens and Bothy Tearoom is recommended. The tranquil woodland walk wends its way to Amroth’s sandy beach. The remains of a petrified forest can be seen on exceptional low tides.

Coastal bus service

A dedicated coastal bus service runs along the entire 870 miles of coast with many Pembrokeshire cottages close by. The choice is yours, walk, take the bus or enjoy gentle motoring along country lanes. There are no motorways or service stations here. Instead look out for waterside inns, country pubs or charming tearooms and sample delicious local produce, homemade bakes and other refreshing delights.

Saundersfoot and Tenby

Saundersfoot and Tenby are popular seaside resorts with unspoilt sandy beaches and safe bathing. Saundersfoot an overgrown waterside village and Tenby with elegant Georgian terraces and award winning gardens spilling out of Medieval town walls. The Tudor Merchant House (National Trust) is a fine example of 15th century life in the heart of town. Regular boat trips run daily during the season to visit Caldey Island home to Cistercian Monks for over 2000 years. The monks produce chocolate, perfume and short bread to sell in their little shop. The island’s pristine beaches and tranquil countryside make this a paradise in miniature.

A lovely picturesque wooded walk beside huge lily ponds teeming with wildlife leads unsuspecting walkers from the coastal village of Bosherston directly onto golden dune backed Broad Haven South Beach with Church Rock standing sentinel in the bay. This glorious beach is popular with surfers. The rugged seacliffs to the west hint at the pleasures in store for intrepid climbers.

St Govan’s Head

The limestone cliffs at St Govan’s Head on the Castlemartin Peninsula, steep and sheer, draw death defying adventurers from far and wide. They pit their wits against the wily sea birds, familiar with every crack and crevice. Choughs, clothed in priestly black with blood red legs and beaks are rare in most parts of the UK, but common here.

A steep flight of steps carved into the cliff leads down to 6th century St Govan’s Chapel clinging to the rocks below. Legend has it that the rock opened enough for St Govan to conceal himself inside a small cave saving him from cut throat pirates. In gratitude to God he built this little cell and lived there as a hermit for the rest of his life.

Harry Potter and Robin Hood

At Freshwater West follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter and Robin Hood. Both blockbusters used this magnificent beach for one of their filming locations. The Shell House looked for all the world as if it had been in the dunes forever and the battle scene in Robin Hood is enough to make your hairs stand on end.

Choose a Pembrokeshire cottage around Pembroke and rub shoulders with royalty.

The Tudor dynasty began in Pembroke Castle with the birth of Henry VII. The magnificent Norman castle on the banks of the river in the heart of town is now privately owned and open to the public. A busy schedule of exciting events is held throughout the year including open air theatre, markets, historic re-enactments and music festivals. In 2012 it made a fitting venue for the Royal wedding, broadcast live on a huge screen to the delight of those sharing in the celebrations.

The secret waterway

Further inland The Cleddau becomes the ‘secret waterway’ and probably looks now just as it did hundreds of years ago embraced by tranquil countryside and ancient woodlands. As the river meanders gently northwards it reveals more of its’ secrets. Carew Tidal Mill, a fine Celtic Cross and hospitable Carew Inn. 12th century Carew Castle, open to the public hosts splendid pageants, historic re-enactments and more. Pretty hamlets and villages welcome visitors to enjoy refreshments in riverside inns and award winning tearooms. There are gentle riverside and woodland walks, cycle tracks suitable for families, a thriving yacht station at Lawrenny and foreshores for picnics and fishing. A truly peaceful location for a Pembrokeshire cottage holiday.

Family Attractions

South Pembrokeshire cottages are close to a number of hugely popular family attractions such as Blue Lagoon Waterpark, Folly Farm, Manor House Wildlife Park, Heatherton Sports Park and Dinosaur World.

Llangwm village on the western side of the river was once a thriving herring fishing community, now it is frequented by pleasure boating enthusiasts. Its slipway at Black Tar can be used at any state of the tide for launching dinghies, canoes and small boats.

The Haven Waterway

From the Jolly Sailor at Burton where the pub lawns run down to the water’s edge, all the way to Dale, the river takes on another important role. Indeed Nelson the great man himself pronounced it to be the second best natural harbour he had ever seen. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is quite different here from the wilder stretches but no less fascinating. Commercial shipping and pleasure craft share this busy ‘haven waterway’ with never a dull moment and something to see at any time of day or night.

Dale is a mecca for watersports enthusiasts with its wide sheltered bay ideal for sailing dinghies, wind surfers and safe moorings. It has a second beach too at West Dale with golden sands backed by seacliffs and a perfect sun trap. The Griffin Inn with good pub food and fine dining at the Moorings Restaurant cater for all tastes.

Skomer Island

The Dale Princess takes visitors from Martin’s Haven to visit Skomer Island, another world. Witness comical puffins and shy manx sheerwaters in their thousands. See guillemots, razorbills and short eared owls at close quarters. Watch seals fishing or snoozing around the coastline. Picnic amongst a carpet of bluebells with rabbits for company. The West Wales Wildlife Trust cares for Skomer and its sister island Skokholm surrounded by some of the richest waters for wildlife off the British Isles.

St Brides Bay

Around the headland, beautiful Marloes Beach (National Trust) is reached on foot across field and coast path and down a flight of steps. The effort to get there is amply rewarded by a wonderful sweep of golden sands backed by seacliffs and breathtaking geology. From here St Brides Bay sweeps around the west coast nipping in at more unspoilt sandy coves and beaches, Little Haven, Broad Haven, Druidston Haven and Nolton Haven where you can ride across the beach from Nolton Stables. Stunning, storm pebble backed Newgale, where Atlantic rollers invite enthusiastic surfers to ride the crest of a wave along has 2 miles of golden sands to enjoy.

Solva

Solva, a picturesque coastal village on the St Davids Peninsula has a fiord like estuary protecting colourful boats on safe moorings and a little sandy foreshore. The quayside is an excellent location for crabbing and eating ice-cream. The village has a number of restaurants, pubs, cafes, shops and galleries to explore. Solva Woollen Mill, the oldest working woollen mill in Wales, patronised by Prince Charles, specialises in flat weave carpets, rugs and runners. Visitors are welcome to watch the looms at work and enjoy refreshments in the teashop or browse the mill shop.

St Davids the smallest city in Britain

St Davids,a village city with magnificent St Davids Cathedral and ruined Bishops Palace at its heart has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. Surrounded by a huddle of pretty shops, galleries, pubs, restaurants and tearooms it remains as popular as ever. Whitesands Bay just over a mile away is a stunning sandy beach overlooked by Carn Llidi an ancient outcrop of rock with majestic views.

The rugged north coast is dotted with pretty coves, tiny villages and wonderful coast walks. Tregwynt Woollen Mill at Castlemorris produces traditional woollen blankets as well as contemporary designs for contemporary homes. Browse their shop full of stylish soft furnishings, clothes and gifts. Their products can also be found in fashionable London and New York stores.

Historic Porthgain is well worth a visit. There is a fascinating industrial heritage sprawled along the coast to be explored before eating fresh locally caught fish in award winning Shed Fish and Chip Bistro on the harbour or good pub food in the ancient Sloop Inn overlooking the village green. There are two excellent galleries to browse.

Day trip to Ireland

Fishguard harbour town has a ferry terminal. Take a day trip to Ireland. The ferry goes to Rosslaire from where buses leave for Waterford. You will have enough time for a great days shopping, a visit to the local museum and meal before returning on the night boat.

Medieval Newport, Pembs

Newport a small picturesque medieval town squeezed between the coast, Carn Ingli (Angel Mountain) and the mystical Gwaun Valley has a Norman Castle and church. The ancient streets and pathways lead directly to the Nevern Estuary on Newport Bay teeming with wildlife. Newport Parrog and Newport Beach, both with golden sands and stunning views are separated by the estuary and spanned by medieval stepping stones. Popular with families and boating enthusiasts.

Two for the price of one

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path concludes at St Dogmaels a pretty village overlooking the Teifi River, a natural boundary between Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire. Pembrokeshire cottages in this area have the benefit of exploring two counties for the price of one. Y Felin Watermill and mill pond lie in picturesque surroundings adjacent to the 12th century Abbey of St Dogmaels. The mill produces traditional stoneground flour which is used to bake the cakes on sale in the Coach House Visitor Centre opposite.

A natural playground

There is so much to discover in this beautiful county, a natural playground with attractions, activities and events to suit all interests and ages. Pembrokeshire cottages are available beside the sea, overlooking rivers and estuaries and in tranquil countryside.

Sustainability Is Survivability

As we move further into the 21st century the impact of climate change is becoming more noticeable to the general public and more serious in its impacts on our way of life.
Climate change is a result of our contempt for our “Natural Capital” and the resultant unbridled demand for energy. This demand is maintained by our limited awareness and understanding of the consequences of our increasing demands on these limited resources.

We are facing our second industrial revolution – abundant people but limited resources.
A smart capitalist always reinvests in his capital. Letting it run down through overuse, caused by ignorance of the importance of the capital resource to a successful business, is a myopic view of the symbiotic relationship between the capital resource and profitability. This is a recipe for disaster for any economic capital model – and this is what is happening in our relationship to Natural Capital. The result is disastrous climate change and the consequences are only just beginning to impact. Our recent sweltering summers and available scientific data illustrate what is in store, so the quest for workable solutions is urgent.

The Federal Government (and state governments to a degree) has fortunately finally woken up to the effect of climate change on all areas of our environment and subsequently our standard of living and long-term well being. It has now legislated to try and assist with the reduction in global warming and has made certain undertakings on the world stage regarding reducing green house emissions. One of these undertakings is occurring via the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

The BCA is implementing new changes to the design of buildings (including 9a and 9c) in order to assist in this process and these become legislation on 1st May 2006. All new and refurbished or renovated buildings Australia-wide are going to have to comply with changed BCA legislation that reduces the demand on natural capital and therefore reduces the production of green house gasses by improved design, construction standards and processes.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. There are powerful, effective methods available to us all to reduce our impact on natural capital (and therefore the greenhouse effect) while complying with the ensuing legislation and even exceeding it, and at the same time improving profit and amenity! How? By understanding and implementing Sustainability on any project.

Many lay-people, and even many within assorted professional industries, may automatically associate sustainability concepts with alternate or ‘greenie’ philosophies and practices. But this is not a “tree-hugging” exercise – it is a system that with appropriate knowledge can offer significant reductions in the bottom line of costs while at the same time significantly improving the negative affects on the environment and amenity /comfort of any facility. Surely a win /win situation.

Sustainability can offer significant proven savings in energy costs, water costs, building costs, lifecycle costs, running costs and labour costs whilst greatly improving value with a minimum initial outlay.

Research by the BCA for the new regulations coming into force in May 2006 indicates the following:

o The building sector is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse emissions – 21% of Total (RIS for increasing Energy Efficiency of Housing, Feb 12 ,2006)

o The DTS provisions of the BCA add relatively little to construction costs- between .06% – 2% (RIS for increasing Energy Efficiency of Housing, Feb 12 ,2006)

o The cost of DTS provisions is substantially offset by savings in HVAC plant and in a number of cases delivers a net reduction building cost (RIS for increasing Energy Efficiency of Housing, Feb 12 ,2006)

o A 5 star building (NATHERS) uses up to 30% less energy than a 4 star building. (RIS for increasing Energy Efficiency of Housing, Feb 12 ,2006)

Practical sustainability has many examples of significant improvement in all profit and amenity outcomes.

The new ING insurance headquarters in Amsterdam was designed and built as a green building in 1987.
It featured an integrated design team process, passive solar heating and ventilation, day lighting, water efficient landscaping and rainwater capture. They achieved a 92 % reduction in energy used compared to a conventional building of similar size ,which results in $2.9 million (US) per year saving on energy costs.!
The energy efficiency features themselves were paid back in just three months.
Absenteeism decreased by 15% over the previous head quarters building and productivity was noticeably improved. (RMI- Green Building case studies 2005)

The US Dept of Energy, indicates numerous examples of significant energy and related cost savings in buildings with a sustainable infrastructure of over 50 per cent of the base cost of energy use per year, major improvements in productivity, and decreases in absenteeism of 15-20 % over all types of facilities (US Dept of Energy 1998)

As you can see, sustainability is survivability.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is the practice whereby the demand on capital resources is significantly reduced through appropriate analysis based on an integrated systemic overall approach to facility resource use. This approach is then incorporated into those facilities.
This results in inefficiencies being identified and removed from the demand cycle.
This is not just an action – it is a philosophy, a way of thinking, being and understanding the issues that accepts the logic behind sustainable practice and incorporates it into the total company philosophy.

“Efficiency creates wealth” or conversely “inefficiency wastes money”.

No business can survive if it wastes money. This approach is relevant to all types of commercial and residential facilities alike including: aged care, hospitals, shopping centres, manufacturing process, entertainment, infrastructure and housing projects.

Sustainability is about reducing these loads on natural capital, thereby improving profitability and environmental outcomes through:

1. Integrated system design and whole system thinking
2. End use-least cost analysis principles
3. Efficient and energy and human resource management
4. Practical and innovative sustainable practices
5. Understanding and implementing the four principles of “Natural Capitalism”.

Why Sustainability?

This integrated approach to sustainability results in the following benefits:

1. Improved profit due to:

o significantly reduced running costs due to more efficient usage of natural capital resources such as power ,water, and the related infrastructure that drives the demands on these resources

o improvised integrated building envelope and internal fit off design reducing thermal and acoustic loads, improving worker efficiency, increasing resident appreciation due to improved comfort and therefore increasing value

o reduced authority approvals time and costs by advocating and incorporating sustainable principles

o significantly reduced water use costs due to rainwater capture, improved water use practice resulting in decreased demand for water, water recycling and low water gardens etc

o reduced lifecycle costings due to improved system design, reduced loads on equipment ,better specified and therefore smaller ,more efficient and longer lasting equipment

o reduced maintenance/repair costs due to less wear and tear on equipment caused by reduced demand on equipment or reduced amount/smaller/better specified equipment

o improved functionality resulting in reduced labour requirements/costs and improved labour outcomes/improved system efficiencies

o reduced absenteeism and lost time due to improved working conditions

o improved staff productivity because of a healthier working environment

o increased demand for facilities due to the improved amenity for residents. This results in less advertising costs ,less resident vacancies and down time

o reduced rubbish and associated costs due to improved recycling and reduced waste due to designs of systems and operations replicating

“bio mimicry systems.” (Systems based on the natural concept of “no

waste” closed loop systems- all production being used)

o improved building practice /design /process/materials quality resulting in reduced building and system waste, rework, maintenance.

2. Improved amenity for residents due to:

o improved building envelope and fit off design resulting in improved living conditions.

o more natural lighting improving reading conditions and reducing negative affects of artificial lighting such as glare and associated negative visual impacts.

o more thought given to residential functionality resulting in more joyous and harmonious living atmosphere.

o reduction in toxic products being used such as paints, internal finishes, materials, carpets etc.

o improved comfortability due to reduced heating and cooling requirements nad the resultant improved equilibrium of temperature.

o more comfortable environment due to the improved functionality of design based on residents and staff requirements.

o use of bio-phillic concepts in design parameters where possible bringing residents into closer contact with natural systems -proven to improve health outcomes (-Ulrich RS 1990- Effects of Nature and Abstract Pictures on patients recovering from open heart surgery.)

o fresher air ,cleaner water ,more peaceful environment.

o improved relationship between staff and patients.

o improved acoustic outcomes due to super efficient windows and insulated building envelopes.

o less stressful and more relaxed environment benefiting residents and staff.

3. Improved environmental outcomes due to:

o water recycling and waste water recycling.

o innovative, coordinated and cost effective building design resulting in improved building envelope and fit off outcomes reducing thermal and acoustic loads.

o reduced power/energy demands resulting in decreased contribution of CO2 and other green house gases.

o reduced loads on the sewerage system and stormwater system.

o reduced loads on machinery thereby reducing demand for inefficient production practices for that machinery.

o reduced demands on natural capital due to recycling, waste awareness, and bio mimicry.

o reduction in the related supply chain loads caused by the reduction in end use loads due to the improved efficiencies resulting from end use least cost analysis.

o improved labour efficiency resulting in reducing waste and downtime.

o improved productivity due to less maintenance costs.

The important thing to remember is that sustainability must be cost effective. If it is not, nobody will use it. Even though it has great benefits for the residents and the environment, if it costs more to implement without any cost benefit then it is in itself not a sustainable practice. Also, it must be a system that, whether we like it or not, appeals to the financial bottom line.

Sustainability must be practical.

Even “not for profit” operations must be aware of this issue, otherwise they will reject sustainable practice as redundant as they cannot afford to operate in a sustainable way if they are running at a major loss. Of course, this can be avoided by ensuring that sustainability is practical.

Sustainability is a practice that is more cost and result effective the earlier it is implemented into an integrated system of design and operations. In any project, 90 percent of all costs are decided on the first day. The effectiveness and value of any decision, not just sustainable ones, are lessened exponentially the later a decision is implemented into the project cycle. (e.g.: adding an extra room once the building is finished or increasing or changing the productivity requirements once the factory is complete is obviously disproportionately expensive)

Those first decisions can have enormous bearing on the success or failure of a project.
If sustainability as a direction is agreed with on day one then the benefits are significantly increased. There are many benefits to be gained from implementing sustainable practice at any stage of development but the most benefit is gained if incorporated at the beginning of the process in an integrated, coordinated manner.

Appropriate management of the overall integrated system is required to ensure all stakeholders needs are examined and understood and wherever possible are taken into account for successful sustainable implementation. This way all the relevant design team members and stakeholders, including operations staff, can be included in the process resulting in an integrated system based on understanding and outcome.

It is important to note there is minimal benefit in trying to improve sustainability by reducing running costs with stand alone, non- integrated processes. The installation of such items as a solar hot water heater on a roof of a building with no sustainable infrastructure is not going to provide the results you need to validate sustainable practice. It will not be a cost effective exercise, as it is not an integrated component of a sustainable system and as a stand alone and consequently inefficient component it will not have the desired result. As a consequence, its comparative ineffectiveness will eventually persuade management that sustainability is a waste of time.

Sustainable practice is not about achieving massive reductions in power usage or water recycling cost through single non-integrated items which are not repayable or economic over the short to medium term.

Big savings can be cheaper than smaller savings.

Sustainability is at its most fulfilling and beneficial when the system is integrated and coordinated. Minor concessions, such as just replacing the light globes in your facility with energy efficient types, do help of course, but much more advantage could be gained by a more integrated initial design or retro fit concept for a similar outlay but with greater results.

Sustainable practice is about trying to achieve smaller reductions in power and water usage, for instance, over a raft of integrated areas .Achieving 20% reductions over 5 or 10 areas of operations will result in a 100-200% improvement in sustainable outcomes rather than trying to achieve 100% reduction in environmental loads through one item in one area. This is practically unachievable and will not result in the desired sustainable outcome. If the aim is for massive sustainable outcomes over a limited number of avenues the outcome will be disheartening.

The results from sustainable practice can be quite significant for a small outlay.
In a recent and new $9 million Aged Care, “not for profit” project of 90 high and low care beds in Sydney, we increased the size of the Stormwater detention tank required by council by about 300% at an extra over cost of about $4,000 and then at a cost of around $11,000 we returned the water from the tank into the toilet system.
Based on water consumption figures from the previous 60 bed nursing home on the site we will save approximately $1,500 per month in water bills. This means the system will pay for itself in about 11 months and from then those savings come off the financial bottom line.

This system was implemented into the design at quite a late stage in the process and shows how beneficial sustainability can be for relatively small investments.
In another example we spent $23,000 on high efficiency, long life globes throughout the complex which, based on energy costs from the previous nursing home, will pay for itself in 2 years and then save around $1200 per month in energy bills for that item alone. There are also reduced labour costs for monitoring and maintenance, reduced capital lifecycle costs including managing and buying globes over the longer term, improved lighting outcomes for staff and residents. This is due to clearer, stronger lighting colour and definition as well as improved lux levels and a reduced number of actual lights. Just these two simple concepts will improve that business’s bottom line by around $25,000 per year after 2 years, providing more funds to be cycled back into the development to be used for patients’ amenities or even more improved sustainable outcomes.

It is important to note these concepts were introduced very late in the design process and were not as integrated, and therefore as beneficial, as they could have been had sustainable practice been considered on the first day of project inception.

Another area to consider in sustainable practice is the importance of getting the most impact from what you are implementing. Although the initial cost of an item may be higher it may allow greater savings in other areas. This will significantly add value to the cost of the item relevant to the reduction in costs of other related items within the system.

The use of Super Windows (triple insulated glass) for example can result in the following benefits

1. increase the amount of light into a building resulting in decreased electrical lighting requirements in daytime, including capital costs of lights etc

2. improve daytime heat storage in winter/cooling in summer to reduce heating/cooling requirements

3. reduces construction costs due to smaller HVAC infrastructure (heating /cooling)

and improved efficiency of structure due to increased space released

by reducing or eliminating HVAC fixtures

4. reduced maintenance costs and capital outlays due to reduced heating and cooling requirements

5. reduced energy costs due to improved thermal values of the windows and reduced artificial lighting requirements

6. improved daylighting performance resulting in the proven benefits for residents and staff that daylighting brings over electrical lighting (US Dept of Energy Report 1998)
7. improved noise suppression

8. improved heating and cooling at perimeter zone areas

9. reduced need for curtains to provide thermal/acoustic balance at window openings

10. increased design scope due to more glass being able to be used

11. reduce significantly the loads/energy requirements on HVAC reducing or eliminating the needs for same

12. improving amenity and comfort by bringing the residents closer to the natural environment by using more glass

13. improving the productivity of staff as they are working in better environment

14. reducing staff absenteeism due to improved working conditions and happier environment

15. increased demand for the facility by prospective residents due to the overall benefits the residents experience resulting in reduced marketing costs and less down time in rooms.

This example suggests that if we properly count multiple benefits and take credits that are real and measurable in rigorous engineering-economic terms we will very often find that one way to make a building inexpensive to construct and run is to install initially more expensive but ultimately sustainable windows. This is not the usual value engineering approach of squeezing dollars and cents out of each component separately, but is utilising our money in a highly integrated fashion to place greater investment in some areas in order to reduce expenditure in others.

Just making a building the right shape and pointing it in the right direction for solar orientation is enough to save one third in energy use. (A.S.H.R.E.A Journal, June 1995)

The use of sustainable practice for all buildings is the way of the future and the facility that embraces this concept will gain the competitive advantage. Sustainable practice is not a complicated premise, but a logical engineered practice that has proven results.

After reviewing what has been outlined here it is important not to lose sight of the benefits it provides to all stakeholders, particularly the residents we all care so much about in our aged care developments, our hospitals, and our retirement villages.
It is here we can really highlight the benefits of sustainable practice and assist the most deserving of people -our residents.

We must do “more for less” if we are to advance sustainably.

Business Sustainability – Beware of Self Assessments

Most small businesses and corporations realize that if they make a mistake in public relations, it will come back and bite them. This is especially true when promoting your advances in business sustainability, advertising your zero carbon footprint, or PR’ing the fact that your business uses hybrid delivery vehicles or alternative energy. Likewise, it can get you into serious regulatory issues if you promote yourself as a green company, when you really aren’t.

This is why I often recommend that if you were going to do a business sustainability study, and really work hard to become a green and environmentally friendly company, you need to be careful when doing self assessments. It is far better to find a consultant or specialist to help you come up with the figures, and thus, make sure you didn’t miss anything, or that you are not hyping your alternative energy strategies or your business sustainability component.

Many companies have been noted in the media for hyping their greenness and then have been lambasted by environmentalists, competitors, or even the government. This can create a public-relations nightmare, one that even the best crisis management teams can’t solve. It usually occurs when a corporation or small business does an in-house study, comes up with some figures, and then goes off and claims to be something that they aren’t.

Just because your company has invested in hybrid delivery vehicles, solar panels on the roof of your warehouse or entered some new ingenious recycling program does not mean you can peg your carbon footprint at zero, or start making claims that are not true. And if you do, beware because such self assessments can get your brand name into trouble, the type of trouble that you may not be able to recover from in the minds of the consumers and customers that were once your best clientele. I hope you will please consider this.