More and more of us are trying to reduce carbon emissions and turn the tide on climate change.
On a personal level these small actions are simple to do, and you’re probably doing many of them already – whether that’s recycling your waste or walking to the shops instead of taking that short car ride.
The spotlight is now also on companies to show that sustainability is part of their DNA and that they’re contributing to the greater good. And being more sustainable is not just good for the planet – it’s good for business too. Going green has the potential to lower your costs, and in turn increase your profitability. It’ll also earn respect from your staff and customers, who are increasingly conscious of the green practices of the brands they choose to work for and buy from¹.
As a business owner, here are a few simple ways that you can go green without breaking the bank:
1. Think about your utilities
You may not have given much thought to the core utilities that your business uses, but you can make some simple choices that will help to reduce emissions. By getting a smart meter fitted, you can better track and manage your usage. A smart meter also flags when energy use spikes so it’s easier to identify and minimise the use of appliances that might be unnecessarily sapping power and pushing up the price of your bill. If you can, opt for a provider that uses renewable sources.
2. Scrutinise your electronics
There are some easy ways that you can trim your energy usage. Opt for LED light bulbs as these tend to use 10 times less energy than regular halogen bulbs and last much longer. Also take a critical look at older appliances. That old electric heater could be burning a hole both in your wallet as well as your CO2 targets. That said, try and find ways of disposing old electronics responsibly. Electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world, so where you can, see if there’s a second home it could go to.
3. Go paperless
There are a fantastic range of digital tools that can help to run your business without paper. This will help to reduce waste and the costs associated with paper such as printers, copiers, and ink cartridges. It’s also a lot easier to manage! Also consider a paperless approach when it comes to your marketing. While traditional printed flyers may feel more familiar, you’ll probably get a better conversion rate through targeted digital advertising.
4. Reconsider business travel
The events of 2020 have proven that remote working is a viable alternative to being in the office. Not commuting saves significantly on carbon emissions, so why not offer a few days of remote work a week to your employees? There are a variety of digital tools available that don’t cost a lot and can keep your team connected no matter where they’re using the internet. Staff may also appreciate the improved work life balance, which in turn could help to drive loyalty and employee retention.
5. Sense check your supply chains and source materials
You can be as green and clean as you like, but if your suppliers aren’t acting responsibly, then you’ll still be accountable for their carbon emissions in your onward products and services. Fortunately, there are various digital tools you can use to verify the credentials of your suppliers before you start working with them. If possible, you could consider opting for a local supplier to reduce the associated emissions from transporting materials and goods to you too.
6. Get your employees to think and act green
Finally, as the ones helping to run your business, the collective behavior of your employees can also go a long way in helping you be sustainable. Encouraging simple things such as turning off lights at the end of the day and launching a cycle to work scheme can help to reduce the overall carbon footprint of your business.
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