There is begging to be a big shift in those accepting climate change as real in the US, UK and around the world. Many people are now recognising climate change is a real threat to our way of life, so as this affected people and purchasing decisions, the business community began to shift in their viewpoint / take action in regards to combating climate change.
For major corporations, this has meant hiring whole teams and creating new programs to manage environmental business impacts. However, for small businesses, these programs are infeasible in terms of resources and capital.
So how can small businesses do their part and become more Eco-friendly in the process? Tackling the environmental impact your business is easier and more cost-effective than you think, sometimes it’s just as much about changing small processes as it is about installing new systems or buying refurbished IT equipment. Here are three critical areas in which your business can become more Eco-friendly and reduce environmental impact.
Turn off, replace and reduce the impact of your lighting system
One of the major energy consumptions of any business is office and building lighting systems. With the National Grid still reliant on non-renewable/polluting methods of energy production, this means that electricity businesses are currently using is coming at an environmental cost (at the point of generation and sometimes storage).
The best way to reduce this impact is to reduce your businesses use of electricity generated via non-environmentally clean methods. There are several ways to do this:
- Many companies leave their lighting systems running all day and sometimes night. To reduce consumption, you should make sure to switch your lighting system to an automatic schedule and adjust through the day where possible to take advantage of natural light conditions and reduce power consumption.
- Invest and install high efficiency LED bulbs throughout your premises, office or building. LED lights are many multiples more efficient than there predecessors in terms of energy consumption and often last far longer meaning the production impact (landfill/recycling) is lower from needing fewer lights (and costs less).
- Switch to an energy provider who generates all there electricity from renewable sources, through still a relatively young market the number of green energy companies with solutions for businesses is increasingly rapidly (especially as the UK grid moves away from coal and other polluting energy generation processes).
- If you have budget and roof space (with the right sun conditions), you can also make a long term investment and buy/install solar panels on your premises to meet your energy needs. With the dramatic increase in efficiency of panels and battery systems, it’s a real possibility for any business serious about going full green. Over the long term, these systems can help also save you a significant amount of expenditure in regards to business utilities such as electricity (particularly as energy prices increase across Europe and the United Kingdom).
Buy recycled paper and ink cartridges
The majority of businesses operate multiple printers that are constantly in use; this creates two significant environmental impact issues. The first being from the use of paper, now although there are some alternates for paper, in reality, paper as a material is here to stay at least for a while when it comes to printing. So the best way to offset your paper usage is to make sure to use recycled paper, that won’t go to landfill sites (it also usually happens to be cheaper).
The second major environmental impact comes from purchasing and throwing away printer cartridges; there are two ways you can deal with this problem, the first being to use recyclable toner/ink cartridges for your printers only and the second being to get refillable toner cartridges where the cartridge can be kept, and ink just refilled (reducing packaging).
One of the biggest issues facing the climate is the amount of carbon dioxide being released by every modern activity businesses undertake or use (whether its product production or employees driving to work). So how do you combat carbon dioxide release?
Simple, grow trees. Take any space you have on your business property (if rented make sure to get your landlords permission) and plant as many Oxygen producing (and carbon dioxide storing) trees as you can.
Being Eco-friendly is sound business practice
The above are only three key areas where you can reduce or neutralise your businesses impact on the environment; there are many more that are well worth researching. In many cases, by pursuing environmentally friendly practises, you’ll also be cutting cost, which is always a sound business practice. One last point remembers you can make money while saving the planet (in many cases more than if you didn’t).