YORK businesses are being urged to take the environmental destiny of the planet into their own hands by tackling energy waste head-on - and saving money at the same time

Laura Collins, campaign manager for PlanetYork - a year-long drive to make York the UK's most energy efficient city - is calling on businessmen and women to join the fight to cut energy use.

"Businesses - both large and small - have a vital role to play in reducing energy use, and their support will make a real difference to PlanetYork," she said.

Energy use results in the emission of carbon dioxide and the build-up of the gases that cause climate change - the biggest single threat to the environment. By saving energy businesses will not only be helping to save the environment but will also save themselves money.

"With the Climate Change Levy now taxing business use of energy, it's more important than ever to reduce costs by saving energy. Businesses can avoid the Climate Change Levy by switching to renewable energy. And there are tax breaks for investing in energy-saving equipment, which means they can write off their investment in one year instead of eight.

"Why not take advantage of our PowerShift grants to replace your company car or van with one which runs on cheaper, cleaner fuel like LPG - there are some great hybrid cars on the market that can switch between petrol and electricity or LPG - and we'll help you pay for it."

Simple measures that businesses can take that will lead to immediate savings and have significant environmental impact include switching to low energy light bulbs and encouraging staff to cycle, walk or take the bus. For more details freephone 0800 512012.

Updated: 10:20 Tuesday, April 02, 2002