Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley Council have joined forces to offer a voluntary and free to local business service to assist them to improve their environmental performance.

The project has already been embraced by the Richmond Valley business community with an impressive 102 businesses already taking part in the project.

Ballina Shire Council’s Senior Environmental Health Officer Kerri Watts is the Project Manager and is excited by the response to date.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for local councils and business to work together and achieve positive outcomes for the environment while at the same time enabling businesses to save money and establish a competitive edge by promoting themselves as sustainable enterprises,” she said.

“Often councils are seen as mainly regulatory bodies but this project is just one example of how our local councils are looking to the future and acting proactively to ensure they continue to promote the region’s clean and green character.

“One of the project’s primary objectives is to protect the quality of the Richmond River through promoting sustainable practices and procedures to business so that the environmental and aesthetic quality of the river is maintained for future generations.”

The Sustainable Urban Business team is doing assessments in the Lismore area until the end of November and will be conducting assessments in the Ballina area in early 2009.

“If you want your business to contribute to the region’s sustainability, and save money in the process, you can join this free voluntary project, by phoning your local council’s Environmental Health Section and asking about the Sustainable Urban Business Project,” Ms Watts said.