Climate change is a huge topic right now and it’s easy to think your business isn’t having an impact if it’s small, and that bigger businesses with a larger carbon footprint should shoulder the responsibility of making a change. However, each little change can really help, and if every SME took steps towards being more eco-friendly, this could go a long way towards reducing our impact on the environment.
Here are a few suggested changes to make your business greener:
1. Save water
Fix leaky taps in your kitchen and bathroom areas and investigate eco-friendly water options to reduce water wastage.
2. Encourage employees to reduce car usage
Depending on the location of your business and its employees, it may be possible to encourage people to get to work through other means and leave their cars at home. Walking or biking to work are options that come with great health benefits, while also reducing carbon emissions. Alternatively, public transport may be an option for your employees, or you could encourage people to set up a carpool and share the driving with those who live close by. If possible, allowing employees to work from home is also a great way to make a small change to their carbon footprint – and depending on the nature of your work and office culture, it could be a change that is very much welcomed by employees who favour flexible working.
3. Consider emissions from company vehicles
Of course, it’s not just down to employees to reduce emissions from their commutes. If you have company cars, vans or lorries, take a look at the vehicles you’re using and consider replacing them with electric or hybrid versions.
4. Plant trees and flowers
Not only does shrubbery make your office surround look great and provide a more pleasing outdoor space for staff to use and for visitors to admire, it also means you’re give back into the eco-system. Plants and trees produce oxygen and can help to offset the effects of pollution.
5. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
It’s a much-used mantra, but reduce, reuse and recycle are three steps towards saving yourself money and helping the planet. Provide recycling bins for employees to recycle paper, cardboard and plastic. In terms of paper, try not to use it wherever you can – only print documents when you really need to, print on both sides of the page, and make sure everything on the page is correct so that you don’t need to reprint it due to a mistake. Recycle the paper when you’re finished with it and consider buying recycled paper when you need to re-stock.
You could also consider recycling electronics. Rather than putting small electronic items straight in the bin, do a little research to see if you can donate them to schools or charities, or send them to the manufacturer’s recycling programme.
6. Use alternative sources of energy
Solar power, wind power and water power are all viable options for producing electricity in a way that’s less harmful to the planet – and you can save you money, too. Biomass boilers can also help you reduce costs and become more energy efficient.
If you can’t change your source of energy completely, replace your old appliances with newer, more energy-efficient versions. For example, old boilers may use much more energy than their newer counterparts.
7. Replace old electric appliances with more energy-efficient models
Newer electric items have better energy star ratings than old ones. Energy star ratings show you how energy efficient the appliance is. Consider replacing old, inefficient appliances with new ones. If you’d prefer to wait until your appliances break down, make sure to check the energy star rating when looking for a replacement.
8. Cut down electricity usage
There are a few ways in which you can reduce the amount of electricity you use. Consider installing energy-efficient LED lightbulbs, or using lighting motion sensors for rooms which aren’t used much, such as bathrooms. Turning off computers and other equipment when not in use is also a good way to instil energy saving into your company culture. Open the windows rather than turning on the air conditioning and invest in insulation in addition to fixing any draughts so you’re getting the most out of your heating.
Whether you want to invest in renewable energy such as a biomass boiler, replace old machinery with more energy-efficient counterparts or you’re looking to replace your fleet of company cars with electric vehicles, we can help. Call us on 01933 304899 or contact us using the form on the right.