But the term is so much more than just another corporate buzzword or social trend; it’s a firm commitment to reducing your overall impact on the planet.
Indeed, many of us are happy to make lifestyle changes for the sake of the environment, whether that’s eating less meat, using less plastic or choosing public transport. But what about the way we operate our businesses? Whether you run an office, warehouse, or factory, striving to make your company operations greener and reducing your carbon footprint is essential to protecting our planet from environmental destruction.
Whilst establishing sustainable business practices will ultimately take time and dedication, there are some quick and easy wins your business can implement to produce less waste and less carbon emissions. Here are 10 things you can do today to support your business on its journey towards a greener way of operating.
Thanks to advancements in digital and electronic signature technology, businesses no longer need to rely on archaic paper-based methods to run their businesses; they can now keep everything digital and eliminate the need for printing, scanning and physical paperwork storage all together. With business operations and customer interactions moving increasingly online, eliminating paper-based processes from your business operations not only reduces paper waste and associated carbon emissions but also simultaneously improves efficiency, whilst also saving money on paper, postage and stationery, as well as on printing and scanning equipment.
We all know the devastating impacts that single use plastics can have on our environment, especially the harm they can cause to marine life in our oceans and seas. Single use plastics are a particular scourge on the planet; those plastic cups your employees or visitors use once can last for up to 50 years in a landfill. Switching from single use plastics to biodegradable alternatives like wood or bamboo is a great place to start but offering reusable branded items to your employees could be a great opportunity to cut waste and also advertise and promote your company.
If you’ve had your business appliances for longer than you can remember, there’s a good chance you could be using more energy, and spending more on bills, than you should. Indeed, since 1992, white goods have been labelled with colour-coded energy rating labels, informing buyers on the efficiency of their appliances. While switching to an A+ or above grade appliance is definitely an investment, it can ultimately reduce your overall energy consumption and monthly energy bills. For example, switching from a C-rated fridge freezer to A+++ rated alternative could save your business a significant £113 a year, as well as lowering your carbon footprint in the process. Everybody wins!
As remote working became the standard for businesses across the UK during the pandemic, we saw many surprise benefits beyond containing the spread of the coronavirus. One of these things was a reduction in carbon emissions due to a significant decrease in commuting. Indeed, it’s estimated that continuing to implement remote working practices post-coronavirus could eliminate 11.3 billion miles of commutes, equating to a significant two airports’ worth of emissions. By offering flexible and home working options as standard, your business could reduce employee commuting miles, saving on carbon emissions and lowering your carbon footprint.
Now, more than ever, ensuring your business follows best cleaning practices is essential to safeguarding employees and customers alike. However, few people realise the negative impact that regular cleaning products can have on the environment, whether that’s through the chemicals they contain, how they’re manufactured or their plastic packaging. Opting for eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products for your business can ensure stringent hygiene standards are upheld, without adding pollutants into the environment.
Perhaps the easiest switch on our list, opting for LED bulbs to light your office rather than fluorescent and incandescent bulbs is a simple switch that makes a real difference. Overall, LED lights are 80% more efficient than their traditional counterparts, with the ability to convert 95% of energy into light and only 5% wasted as heat. They also use less power than other bulb options whilst still offering the same amount of light, meaning you can keep your business lights on for less energy and less cost. LED bulbs can also last up to six times longer than traditional alternatives, meaning your business will buy less bulbs overall, saving you money and waste.
As the way we do business moves increasingly online and towards the Cloud, it’s never been more important to find the right hosting solution. While there are many factors to consider when choosing an external provider- price, customer service etc. – if your business is looking to go green than sustainability should also be at the top of your list. It’s estimated that digital technologies emit roughly 4% of greenhouse gas emissions, largely through powering data centres with fossil fuel energy. If you’re moving your business to cloud hosting, opting for a supplier that runs on green energy, or at least offsets their emissions, is an absolute must.
Admittedly not the easiest switch on our list but definitely something worth considering if you’re serious about going green. With the number of electronic vehicles only predicted to increase in the coming decades, your business could be one of the trailblazers when it comes to this technology, whether you’re operating a fleet of vehicles on a day-to-day basis or are simply looking for a company car. Electric vehicles will ultimately allow your company to ditch fossil fuel-based transportation and power your cars with electricity instead. When sourced from renewables such as solar and wind, electric vehicles have the potential to drastically reduce your business’s carbon emissions and overall carbon footprint.
If you want to truly make an impact across your business and beyond, engaging your employees with new green policies and environmental initiatives is essential. Inviting employees to create and help implement new workplace initiatives can help to create real interest and engagement throughout your workforce, ensuring your company’s push towards greener ways of working has the uptake and support it needs to get off the ground. Whether that’s creating a dedicated environmental committee, celebrating Earth Day or sending out internal comms about the company’s environmental policies, getting employees discussing environmental issues at work can have a positive impact on their day-to-day lives and wider community.
If you’re concerned about the energy that powers your business, switching to a green energy supplier can help your business play its part in the fight against climate change. Using energy from a number of renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass plants, green tariffs can help end your business’s dependency on those pesky fossil fuels. Some energy suppliers have even adopted programmes to offset carbon emissions for non-renewable energy sources, supporting carbon reduction initiatives across the UK. By opting for a green tariff, you’re ultimately helping to decrease your business’s carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment.
If you saw the last point on our list and thought ‘but switching tariffs isn’t easy’ then Tariff.com is definitely for you. An independent consultancy service, Tariff.com is here to take the hassle out of switching. Our expert consultants will find the best deals so you don’t have to, switching over provider on your behalf. All you need to do is sit back and watch the savings, in both money and carbon emissions, come rolling in.
Has your business already implemented some or all of our changes? If not, where would you start?
At Tariff, we’ve made a firm commitment to helping businesses from all sectors adjust their energy usage habits. We have extensive experience in securing businesses the best possible deal on their gas and electricity, as well as preparing them for the looming 2050 deadline for net-zero emissions.
Whether you’re uncertain of your business’ future in energy, or you’re ready to make the move to a cleaner and brighter future, get in touch with our knowledgeable team today to find out how Tariff can help your business begin its green journey.