Launching a £4 million television and newspaper advertising campaign this week, the trust hopes to highlight the amount of energy being wasted through poor energy efficiency, a problem that will businesses around 12 per cent of their total energy spend over the summer.

According to the trust, up to 45 per cent of all carbon emissions in the UK come from businesses and, as the key cause of climate change, companies must take action. Wasted summer energy emits 442,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide - more than Cambridge’s annual carbon emissions and enough to fill the new Wembley stadium more than 56 times, the trust said.

“Businesses in the food and drink industry are wasting millions on energy, hitting the environment and their bottom line,” said Dr Garry Felgate, director of delivery and external relations at the Carbon Trust. “As well as the financial and environmental benefits of reducing energy waste, issues of reputation should be an important consideration. The number of “green” consumers is growing and they are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the products they buy. Being energy efficient is the best way to cut carbon emissions and today’s campaign will empower companies to take action to cut carbon and make significant savings on their bottom line. Energy saving today is a no-brainer for business and the environment.”

Businesses with energy bills of more than £50,000 a year can apply for free surveys from Carbon Trust consultants, who can identify energy-saving opportunities and growing businesses are offered interest-free loans of up to £100,000 (£200,000 in Northern Ireland) to help them invest in energy efficient equipment.