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Ten Ways To Make Your Business More Environmentally Friendly

Latest USP Briefings | 6th November 2021 | 1:00 pm | 12 min. read

Ten ways to make your business more environmentally friendly

If you are running a small or medium-sized business, you may think that the environmental impact your company is having paves into insignificance, compared to multi-national corporations. Whilst this may be your viewpoint, it might not be the viewpoint of your customers.

Whether you offer a product or service, more and more customers are opening their eyes to the climate crisis and what they can do to ensure that they are doing their part in helping reduce the environmental impact on the world.

In a report published by Deloitte in 2021, 61% of all UK consumers that responded to their survey confirmed that they limited their use of single-use plastics, with 30% choosing brands that have environmentally sustainable practices/values.

The report shows that consumers therefore do care about where they buy from, based on everything from the final packaging, right the way through to the companies’ practices/values.

So with that in mind, let’s turn our attention to the ten ways in which you can make your business more eco-friendly.

Ten ways to make your business more eco-friendly:

1. Remote working

Remote working in the UK became the norm as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the country-wide lockdowns imposed by the UK Government. The concept of remote working from an environmental perspective makes complete sense, as staff members are not commuting to work, often sitting in traffic, or buying products for lunch which are made from plastic packaging.

As companies are now asking staff to fully return to the office, think first, do you actually need staff back in the office? A hybrid working pattern may be the best solution to striking a balance between having staff members in the office, whilst also reducing, in part, your carbon footprint.

2. Provide alternative transport benefits

If staff are coming into the office, why don’t you provide an alternative transport benefit scheme. This benefit will apply to those individuals who come to work by not driving/being driven. This includes a cycle-to-work scheme or a public transport scheme, where employees receive a benefit from catching trains or other modes of public transport.

3. Composting

The amount of food waste in an office environment is truly staggering. Rather than filling large refuse sacks with a mixture of food waste, non-recyclables, tee-bags etc, why not separate food waste from other waste.

Food waste is great for composting. Why not reach out to a local composting company or gardening society to see if they could use the food waste to compost and therefore aid in the growing of flowers, fruit and vegetables.

4. Using sustainable products

Are you a large office environment that goes through reams and reams of paper? If you are, look at whether you need to print as much as you do. Secondly, ask your suppliers to provide recyclable paper.

Other initiatives include the removal of all plastic cutlery and plastic cups. Ask staff members to bring their own cups and utensils to work or provide ceramic and glass cups along with metal utensils.

5. Using electric/hybrid mobile plant

If you use mobile plant as part of your day-to-day operatives, try to find an electric or hybrid version of the plant to reduce the amount of fossil fuels you use as an organisation.

6. Use suitable packaging

If you are a business that sells and ships products, packaging is a major part of the operation. Recycled cardboard and paper can be used as sustainable packaging options.

7. Energy efficient upgrades

Did you know that simple changes such as moving to LED lights, automatic lights with sensors and changing your energy provider to that which obtains its energy via the renewable energy sector can have a huge difference.

8. Associate with greener companies

As mentioned above, consumers are changing their views in respect on companies they deal with, based on their environmental statement. As a company, if you are going to the effort of ensuring that your company’s carbon footprint is as small as possible, do not let that good work be ruined with an association to a company that does not care for its carbon footprint. Consumers will look not just at yourself, but the companies you associate with.

9. Offsetting C02 emissions

Finally, If after reducing your businesses carbon footprint as much as possible, you find that your business is still emitting C02, you can offset your businesses remaining carbon emissions by taking part in an offsetting project. A carbon offset is a way to compensation for your business’s emissions, by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving. One of the main ways that businesses are offsetting their carbon emissions is by taking part in a forestation project.

10. Information and training of staff

Information and training of your workforce is key. In the Deloitte survey mentioned earlier, the tope 3 reasons why consumers have not adopted a more sustainable are as follows:

  • Not interested (22%)
  • It’s too expensive (16%)
  • I do not have enough information (15%)

As the above shows, 15% of people who have not adopted a more sustainable lifestyle simply haven’t done so, because they do not know enough about the situation. The amount of information out there in respect of the climate crisis is monumental. Therefore, why not provide information and training to your workforce. This can be done by implementing a ‘Green Team’ who disseminate information to other members of staff, or provide outsourced training on more involved topics.

Where do I start?

Now that we have informed you of how you can reduce your businesses carbon footprint, you may now be asking the question of ‘where do I start?’. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most companies understand that they need to reduce their carbon footprint but are not quite sure where to start.

The first place to start is with an environmental audit. The audit will cover the following:

  • Is there an overarching environmental policy
  • Waste evaluation
  • Air and Energy Evaluation
  • Water Evaluation
  • Land Evaluation
  • Hazardous Substances Evaluation

The outcome of the audit will inform your business as to areas which are deficient and can be improved, along with those items which are fully compliant.

Alongside an audit should also be a Carbon Footprint Assessment. There are numerous websites which provide a ‘carbon footprint calculator’. These calculators will inform you as to the information that is needed in order to calculate your businesses carbon footprint. If however, you want a more bespoke and accurate service, there are company’s which provide this service.

Understanding your carbon footprint can be a daunting task. If you have any questions on what you needed to do and how you need to do it, please get in touch by emailing us at info@universal-safety.co.uk or calling us on 01903529401.

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