You can’t move for headlines, features, and news reports devoted to the environment. As the gravity of climate change hits home, more and more of us are looking to do our bit to protect the planet. Businesses have a vital role to play, but how do you go about embracing a greener future? If you’re eager to be more eco-friendly, here are some simple steps you can take.
As an employer, you probably have employees travelling to an office, or driving or even flying from one place to another on a daily basis. Commuting is essential, but there are ways you can make getting from A to B more environmentally friendly. One option is to offer more flexible working arrangements, which involve working at home, but this is not always a viable proposition. If you have employees that have to travel, try and incentivize green commuting. Encourage cycling and walking to work, invest in eco vehicles if you have company cars, and consider options like solar car ports if you provide parking on-site. With a solar carport, you can generate clean energy and provide secure parking at the same time. It’s also a good idea to think about how often your employees need to travel. If you could cut out even a single meeting every week, which saves a flight or a long car journey, this could have a really positive impact on your carbon footprint.
Many businesses create a lot of waste, and often, this ends up in landfill sites. If you don’t already have a recycling initiative, this is a great way to reduce waste and ensure that anything that can be used for other purposes isn’t chucked away. Provide bins and containers for plastics, glass items, cardboard and paper, and consider buying recycled goods. If you buy bulk paper for printing, for example, you could save money and contribute to saving the earth by switching to recycled paper.
One of the main problems we face is increasing energy consumption. We need electricity to run businesses, but many of us use a lot more energy than we need. As a business owner, you can lower running costs and make a positive contribution to the planet by making a concerted effort to use less energy. Swap traditional light bulbs for energy-efficient LED bulbs, fit sensors to ensure that lights come on only when somebody enters the room, and invest in smart technology. Encourage employees to use less water and turn all electrical appliances off at the socket at the end of the day.
Support environmental initiatives and causes
If you’re serious about going green, why not look into local initiatives and causes you can get behind? Many businesses are eager to enhance their reputation and build a positive brand image, and getting involved with charities or schemes that promote eco-friendly measures is a great way to contribute to community efforts and encourage people to think of your company in a positive light. There are several ways you can support causes, for example, giving a portion of your profits to a charity, sponsoring an event or donating a prize for an auction.
Reducing plastic usage
If you watched Blue Planet II, or you’ve seen articles or reports in the aftermath of David Attenborough’s emotive series, you’ll know that plastic is a major problem. With millions of tonnes of plastic ending up in the seas and oceans, many of us are taking steps to try and eliminate single-use plastics from our lives. If you run a business, you can encourage your employees to use less plastic by providing a water cooler and a hot drinks machine, which can be used to fill up refillable cups and flasks, and by banning the sale of drinks in plastic bottles. You can also ensure that any bottles that are brought in are recycled.