10 Ways to become a more environmentally responsible business
It has never been more important or indeed urgent, especially in the wake of ongoing scientific research and the Paris Climate Summit, that every single person needs to become more environmentally aware. This doesn’t simply mean that we need to take stock of our carbon footprint and attitudes to the world around us only in relation to our personal lives. It is critical that businesses no matter how large or small also seek to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprint and do their bit for combatting climate change. Here are ten ideas to get you started.
Don’t just recycle waste paper, recycle everything you possibly can. Old electrical items, printer cartridges…………………….
RECYCLE YOUR RUBBISH
Ensure that there is a food waste bin in the kitchen or staff room and that people are actively encouraged to recycle their rubbish, (generated by lunch for example) by providing different bins for recyclable materials that is separate to that of a general waste bin.
As a business go paperless. Not only is this excellent in terms of reducing waste, it also has the added bonus of banishing the cluttered untidy desk to a thing of the past. It is simple to invoice electronically now for example and to send documents by e-mail.
Research and then use carbon neutral companies where possible for services that as a company you have outsourced. In addition to this, research how as a business it is possible to become a carbon neutral company yourself
In the digital age of skype, facetime and the like, consider whether it is absolutely necessary to travel to attend meetings and conferences. If as a company you can lessen the amount of miles travelled for business purposes, not only will you dramatically decrease your carbon footprint, you will also save huge amounts of money in the process (petrol and expenses such as food and hotel costs). It’s a win win!
However if it is necessary for your business that you or your colleagues have to travel then forget about the traditional company car and invest in the new breed of electrical vehicle, or at the very least a hybrid. After the initial investment this course of action will also yield significant financial savings.
GOVERNMENT CYCLING SCHEME
Encourage and even incentivise employees to find alternative ways to travel to work, such as cycling or using public transport. There are government schemes to facilitate this.
IS YOUR OFFICE ENERGY EFFICIENT?
Spend time everyday ensuring that your office is as energy efficient as it can be. Check that the light bulbs are energy saving and that computers and all other electrical equipment is completely switched off at the end of each day or when not required. Have specific times for tea breaks so that the kettle isn’t boiled unnecessarily. Reduce frivolous usage of heating or air conditioning unless absolutely needed.
Consider whether it would be possible to harness alternative energies such as solar power at your place of work. Any energy generated that isn’t utilised by your business can be sold back to the National Grid.
WORK FROM HOME
Allow employees when appropriate to work from home to reduce their carbon footprint. As well as benefiting the environment it will also be greatly appreciated by staff.
RESPONSIBLY SOURCED TEA AND COFFEE
Only buy environmentally friendly and ethically sourced tea and coffee products. Look at http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/ for companies who source and supply these products. Rainforest Alliance approved products help alleviate poverty in the developing world, combat the decimation of forests and curb climate change through investment of people and the environment.