How Your Business Can Reduce its Carbon Footprint

This year’s Earth Day has arrived; a day which is the largest and most recognisable face of the environmental movement that is happening around us. Taking place annually on April 22, the event raises awareness of burgeoning issues such as global warming and the need for renewable energy.

This particular day in history is said to be the most important for our generation, as the leaders from 160 countries will come together to officialy sign the Paris Climate Agreement, which was agreed in 2015 at the Paris Climate Summit to combat global warming.

With countries joining forces with the intention to attempt to keep global warming at a minimal 1.5 degrees Celcius, as well as pledging huge investmentsts to help developing countries by the year 2020, our time is now to help towards this important climate crusade.

As green issues are so important to us as a company, we thought we would help by sharing with you some brilliant tips on how your business can reduce its carbon footprint. While there are many companies out there that have become more sustainable by not only changing their habits, but completely revamping their entire offices into eco-friendly havens, the majority of businesses just don’t have the money, or resource to follow suit. Because of this, we have put together a list of simple methods to create a more sustainable business and working space.

Turn off and unplug, always

You must enforce the habit within your team of switching everything off at the end of the day, as well as implementing energy saving modes on computers and monitors. On top of this, you should ensure that all other equipment is turned off such as kitchen appliances and also lights. What most people don’t know is that a lot of electrical equipment siphens off power when in standby mode, so the best measure to make sure that no energy is wasted, is completely turning off and unplugging electrical items.

Evaluate current carbon consumption

It is imperative to evaluate your business’ carbon consumption by assessing your daily routine and where you use energy the most. You can do this by getting an expert to come in and perform an assessment, or by an office manager. This will give you an idea on where you can improve so that you can develop a suitable strategy for which to follow.

Working from home

Many businesses will point blank refuse to allow their employees to work from home, as they like to keep track of what their staff are doing at all times, however it can actually be beneficial; not only to your carbon emissions, but also for general wellbeing and productivity.

As technology has improved, remote working has actually become a lot easier. With many virtual office software available, as well as services such as Skype, working from home means that you can stay in touch with your colleagues throughout the day without being in the same room.

Perhaps giving your employees one or two days a month the opportunity to work from home will be easier on the business, and not only this, but it will also save the emission producing journey to work. A great way to cut back on your carbon footprint without breaking the bank!

Meat-free days

Many people don’t realise it, but eating meat is actually a huge strain on the environment and in producing those nasty emissons that we try so hard to cut back on. In fact, did you know that producing just one hamburger uses enough fossil fuel to drive a small car 20 miles? It’s also fact that a staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. Just a thought.

Trying one, (or more if you’re brave enough) meat-free days at work will collectively reduce the carbon footprint of not only your business, but also your employees individually.

Recycling bins

Recycling at work is easy when you have the right system set up. Not only can it save you money in the long-run, but it will also drastically increase your efforts to protect the environment.

First and foremost you must identify what items you need to recycle, whether it be paper and carboard, plastic bottles or perhaps aluminium cans.

There are a number of waste and recycling services available, depending on how much you create and what postcode you’re in. With a little research, you should be able to find a company that will help you to install recycle bins, both inside and out, and that is cost-effective.

Once you have successfully installed your recycling bins, you must enforce rules that are simple for your employees to follow, ensuring that they fully understand the importance of doing so. It can be a difficult task at first, but once they get the hang of it, it will become second nature to them.

Use less paper

Paper, in most office environments, is a huge strain on your waste stream, which is staggering considering it is one of the easiest materials to re-use and recycle. Reducing this waste is simple; all it takes is being mindful of the amount of paper you’re using. It’s not realistic, or necessary to print out every email or project; if you can read it on screen, then do so. If you’re worried about keeping copies of important documents, then back them up on an external drive or by using a ‘cloud’ service provider. Go digital where possible, even when it comes to signing documents. Software is widely available nowadays that will allow you to sign important documents digitally, so it’s definitely worth consideration if you are serious about your energy consumption.

It is also paramount to use sustainable paper sources, and also think about setting up your printer to print on both sides. The less paper we waste, the happier our planet is!

Now, this is only the tip of the iceberg, if you will. There are so many more ways in which you can drastically diminish your energy output and your carbon footprint. Remember to stay mindful and aware of the strain you have on the world around you, not only at work, but also in your daily lives. If we all step up and take action, making even one small green step, then we can make an impact for the greater good. Happy Earth day!