We all have a responsibility to help to reduce the impact that we are having on the planet and lessen the onset of climate change. Although there is plenty that we can do as individuals, your business can also make some small changes which, when put together, can help the planet.
Some of these changes are short-term, and some longer-term, but they can all make a difference…
Top tips to tackle climate change in your business
Making your commercial building as energy efficient as possible is a great way to start, and you should start with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If you rent your premises you should already have one – and if you own it, you should have been given one when you bought it.
According to Nexus Energy Solutions – EPC specialists, “A commercial EPC shows how energy efficient your business is, assessing your heating and cooling, lighting, insulation and equipment for energy efficiency… Once you know exactly how green your office or business is, you can make plans to improve it over time.”
The EPC will give you suggestions on how to improve your energy efficiency and this could include getting or improving insulation, changing your boiler, or getting more energy-efficient equipment, for example. Not only will this help to reduce your carbon emissions, but it will most likely also save you money.
Waste and Recycling
Another important change that you can make (if you aren’t already doing so) is to reduce the amount of waste that you create and recycle as much of it as possible. If you have large offices, try to use as little paper as possible by:
- Using email to pass messages and send letters
- Creating electronic receipts and purchase orders
- Trying to avoid printing and filing paper copies
Any paper that you do use and need to throw away put into paper recycling bins, and you can also use recycled paper for anything that you do need to print out.
You can also recycle:
- A lot of plastic and other packaging
- Many electronic items
- Printer cartridges
Encourage Green Practices
Try to encourage green practices amongst your staff. There are a number of diverse ideas that you could promote, including:
- Using mugs and glasses instead of disposable cups
- Walking or cycling to work
- Turning computers or other equipment fully off at the end of the day and not just leaving them on standby
- Encouraging car-sharing and the use of public transport when travelling between premises
- Rewarding employees for finding new ways to be ‘green’
- Switching off the lights when a room is no longer in use
- Don’t excessively heat or cool the premises
- Allowing working from home when appropriate
- Using technology for virtual meetings instead of sending people to places physically if you can
Plants are a healthy, effective and natural way to help to absorb our carbon emissions. We need more plants in the world, and they can also be a calming, stress-relieving and energising influence in a place of work. Try planting plants in the car park, around the outside of the premises, in reception or encourage people to have plants on their desks.
Do Business with ‘Green’ Businesses
Although cost is a lot of what drives business, you can still help to do your bit for the planet by doing business with ethical and ‘green businesses. This rewards those companies who are making an effort and also helps you indirectly play your part.
Speak to your suppliers and other businesses who you work with closely and check what efforts they are making to help the planet.
Carbon Off-Setting and Supporting ‘Green’ Charities
Although there is a lot that a business can do to help reduce its impact on the planet, there are some occasions where there is simply nothing that can be done. You can help to lessen your carbon footprint by carbon offsetting. You can, for example, donate money regularly to people who are planting trees.
You can also put ‘green’ charities as beneficiaries to any fundraising or sponsorship events that you might have. This will not only help these climate change charities, and help to give your business a good name, but it will also put the green agenda at the front of peoples’ minds.
As people become more aware and concerned with climate change and the state of the planet, having a business that is as ‘eco-friendly’ as possible is becoming increasingly important. With awareness of what you can do, and implementing some small changes, you can begin to make a difference and help the country towards its net-zero carbon emissions goal.