Published 22nd of October 2018
How Businesses Can Truly Go Green
Going green is no longer a marketing buzzword - it is a business necessity.
A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed that we only have 12 years to stabilise global temperatures, after which point even half a degree will lead to droughts, floods and other potentially avoidable disasters. The news shocked many, and consumers are increasingly calling on businesses to take a more active role in protecting the planet.
Shredall SDS Group has helped lead to way in making their business more environmentally-friendly. We are committed to complying with ISO 14001, a set of industry standards that require businesses to constantly monitor their fuel and electric consumption. We also work with a Carbon Projects company to counteract our fuel emissions by planting a tree for every new customer that joins the company.
Furthermore, we have installed eco-friendly lighting throughout the warehouse and vault, with a heat sensor fitted in every racking aisle, meaning that the lights only turn on when employees use a specific aisle in the warehouse. We have also added extra recycled racking to our SDS Document Storage depot in an effort to reduce our waste.
With so much focus on businesses being more environmentally-friendly, companies of all shapes and sizes will be keen to learn how they can also truly go green. Cambridge University has already conducted a study that found that 56% of their network believe that businesses will lead the way in taking direct action toward sustainability in 2018 and 2019.
With this in mind, here is a guide to how your business can truly go green:
Recycle, recycle, recycle
Recycling commercial waste is the simplest way that businesses can become more environmentally friendly. For example, short of going entirely paperless, recycling waste paper is the best way to ensure a business’ waste is reduced. Less waste means less consumption, thereby reducing harmful emissions.
Despite being biodegradable, it is very important that paper is recycled, as when paper breaks down it releases methane - one of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Moreover, recycling paper is less energy intensive than producing new paper. One source even quotes the process as using 45% less energy.
Recycled paper can be used to produce a wide range of things, from office paper and cardboard to toilet and tissue paper. The versatility of recycled paper makes it not only a smart decision for environmental reasons but also one for financial considerations. By buying less paper, businesses can go a long way to reducing their overhead costs.
Shredall SDS Group provides confidential shredding and recycling services for a range of businesses, securely disposing of paper, cardboard and electronic waste, including mobile phones and hard drives, before taking it to our depot for recycling.
If you are interested in learning more, read about the recycling services that we offer.
Consider ethical sourcing
When it comes to making a business more sustainable, one of the biggest causes of emissions is transporting goods and services. Shredall SDS Group recently invested in an articulated lorry, allowing us to make fewer journeys and reduce our fuel emissions. SMEs should also look at ways of reducing transport emissions and waste, particularly when it comes to the sustainability of their suppliers.
A recent report found that one-third of businesses interviewed by Barclays had discussed ways to make their practices more environmentally-friendly. With 31% of businesses citing ethics as the main reason for having more sustainable suppliers, 26% also highlighted the PR benefits of improving their green credentials. of for doing so as particularly attractive
Bearing this in mind, small and medium-sized businesses stand to benefit more than ever from attempting to reduce their waste in 2018, particularly in regard to their suppliers and with their packaging. Look at your suppliers’ policies. Do they use toxic chemicals irresponsibly, or perhaps could their processes be more efficient? Also, are there high-quality local suppliers that could replace suppliers abroad, thereby reducing delivery emissions?
Office Energy Use
The energy that businesses use must be central to their environmental efforts. With heating and electricity typically generated by burning fossil fuels, companies cannot truly call themselves a green business until they begin generating at least some of their energy through renewable means.
With more and more companies beginning to sell energy produced by renewable means like solar and wind power, SMEs should investigate options to switch to these greener technologies. For example, solar power is becoming increasingly viable as an alternative source of energy, helping businesses not only improve their green credentials but also save money. With electricity distributed through the National Grid estimated to increase by 10% every year, getting more control over their energy costs will help make significant savings in the long term.
However, a good first step for businesses unable to make the investment into renewable energy is to become more sensible over energy use. The most basic practice is turning off equipment that is not in use, with one study finding that devices plugged into walls accounting for as much as 50% of the entire office’s energy use. Businesses should therefore always turn off computers at the end of the day, as well as any devices not in use during working hours.
Companies of all shapes and sizes can help reverse the effects of global warming by taking a more active role in reducing their emissions. Waste paper, one of the biggest types of waste produced by businesses, can be easily recycled either in-house or with an external agency. Remote working policies will help your workforce reduce their emissions by travelling less, while renewable energy solutions such as solar are becoming increasingly viable. Take your first step to becoming a green business by contacting us today.