Published 23rd of February 2021
Any business, big or small can make simple changes to the way they operate to reduce their carbon footprint. There are many changes that can be made to the way a business operates in order to do this. Here’s a few ideas:
Low Carbon Commutes
Rather than drive, encourage employees to cycle, walk, care share or take public transport to work. There are many cycle to work initiatives that employers can provide to their staff to encourage them to cycle.
If your company has a fleet of vehicles using energy-efficient models and energy efficient routes can reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
Be Energy Efficient
Changing lighting across a building to be more energy efficient options such as LED can make a big difference and is a quick qin with long lasting effects. Many offices are artificially lit, natural light saves energy and has been found to reduce stress levels.
Simple training of staff to switch off the lights and equipment that are not in use will save energy. Along with purchasing energy-efficient equipment, insulating your workplace and turning down the thermostat.
Minimise single use plastic
Work on removing all single use plastic items in your business model, this can be implemented by reviewing your company’s packaging and products. If you have implemented a recycling system in your business, which recycles materials such as used paper, printer cartridges and plastic, take the system even further by purchasing new products that are made from recycled materials.
Print as minimally as possible
Many offices produce a large amount of paper. This can easily be reduced by reducing printing and digitising instead. Avoid printing unnecessarily, things like emails, presentations and try annotating on a screen instead.
If printing is required, ensure double sided printing is set as a default. Ensure there is somewhere in the office that you can recycle paper, separate from food waste bins. Having secure lockable consoles can keep your confidential documents safe and ensures they’re shredded and recycled by a professional.
Scanning your paper documents instead of printing paper can save on paper waste as all your documents can be saved electronically. Minimising your waste and keeping your documents more secure.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Think about everything you use in your business and how you can reduce your waste by reusing items and recycling them where possible. Instead of storing old computers in spare rooms gather dust or sending them to landfill. You can recycle old computers and hard drives to ensure the information on the computers doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Paper is one of the most common forms of waste in an office, which can easily be reduced, reused and recycled. It can be turned into other paper products like toilet paper and tissue paper. The paper recycling process is explained here.
Purchasing recycled paper or refurbished phones and IT equipment is an easy way to reduce your businesses carbon footprint. If your business has a large supply chain, then it is particularly important to ensure that sustainability is fed right through.
Work from home
Working from home has become the norm for 2020, which could carry on for the foreseeable. Although it’s not realistic for every job to be worked from home, where possible for some it would reduce carbon emissions as meetings can easily be done virtually and files can be shared online.
Video conferencing when you can instead of taking unnecessary business trips will reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Many businesses are adapting their services to your front door, including paper shredding and recycling.
Offset with Tree Planting
It’s not realistic to think your entire business carbon footprint can be eradicated. A good way to reduce it is to offset your business environmental impact by planting trees.
Every tree planted absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, offsetting your carbon. It also releases oxygen, filters the air, filters rainfall and increases atmospheric moisture. Further than the ability to absorb greenhouse gases, tree planting is helping engage business, employees and investors with sustainable practices.