There is a great deal you can do to enhance the green credentials of your business. Eco-friendly changes you make will help you comply with business environmental legislation; create a better working environment for your staff; and in the longer term save you money.
Any reduction you can make in your business’s reliance on natural resources will also have an impact on reducing your utility bills.
Heating and cooling accounts for a large percentage of the energy companies consume and this can be lowered by implementing the following steps.
· An air curtain will help the difference between the internal and external temperature. This means that less heat and cooling is lost and therefore less energy is expended maintaining an ambient temperature. An air curtain also acts as a barrier to the outside and lets in less pollen and other allergens. This helps to keep the internal environment fresh and helps employees who suffer from allergies.
· Insulation is also important to ensure you minimise heat loss and the roof, walls and windows are key areas which need attention.
· Installing motion sensors for lights means you don’t have to rely on staff remembering to switch them off as they leave a room, and even public areas such as meeting rooms and corridors will only be lit when someone is present. If you combine this with installing low energy light bulbs you can save a substantial amount of electricity.
Your business can also reduce the amount of water it uses and in the process lower your bills. As a first step install automatic switch off taps, dual flush toilets and energy and water efficient dishwashers in staff breakout areas. The government, as part of its climate change initiative, wants to encourage energy and water efficiency in business and therefore you can gain tax relief under the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme on the purchase of equipment which furthers this aim.
Where possible reduce the amount of waste your workplace generates. Switch to a paperless office and encourage staff to print only when necessary. You can also use paper from recycled sources or sustainable forests to ensure you are as green as possible.
Everything that needs to be thrown away should be sorted into separate bins for paper; glass; plastics; aluminium; and even food scraps. Encourage staff to get actively involved in this as sorting items as they are thrown away will save time and get employees on board with your eco-friendly endeavours.
A substantial element of your business’s carbon footprint will be taken up the amount of road and air miles your employees cover every year. Try to minimise business travel by air where you can and encourage staff to travel by Eurostar if they are heading to the continent. In addition, consider whether an in-person meeting is necessary or whether the same result could be achieved by video conferencing.
How your staff commute can also be examined and you can support them in making changes:
· Encourage staff to travel by public transport by offering loans on season tickets or even including them as an element of remuneration.
· A car pool club can be set up by the company to help staff find colleagues who live close to them with whom they can share driving and expenses.
· If people live relatively close to work, the Cycle to Work Scheme offers a tax free way for staff to purchase a new bicycle.
· Allow staff to work from home at least one day a week, thereby automatically cutting the commuting element of your carbon footprint by a fifth.
All these small changes add up to big results for the environmental friendliness of your business. Furthermore, for the most part they won’t cost much in initial outlay and will save you money over the long term. An eco-friendly company is also held in higher regard by its employees and customers so don’t hesitate to mention the positive changes you have made in your marketing materials.
Hello, I'm James Timpson. A business specialist and a keen writer in the business and marketing field.