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Making a difference: How to reduce the environmental impact of your business

5 February 2020

In 2019, the UK became the first major economy to set the ambitious goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Making this happen requires a commitment from the entire country, both on an individual and a corporate level. If one of your goals for this year is to take steps to minimise the environmental impact that your business makes, then these are some of the simplest ways to do it.

 

Increase awareness and planning

If you want to reduce the impact that your business is having on the environment then you first need to establish what that impact is. What is the size of your organisation’s current carbon footprint and where is there the most room for improvement? Identify the most sizeable areas of consumption and set realistic goals to help you reduce consumption in the highest using areas.

 

Identify goals when it comes to travel

Corporate travel contributes significantly to negative environmental impact. So, it may be worth overhauling your travel policies to minimise the number of flights being taken and encourage video calls or less damaging transport options instead. It’s also possible to make a difference when it comes to employee commutes. For example, you could introduce ride-sharing schemes, provide secure storage for bikes or install electric charging points to encourage the use of electric cars.

 

Review the way that your business manages waste

It would be almost impossible for most enterprises today to switch straight to achieving zero waste. Gradual steps are a much more effective approach for most businesses. This may mean the introduction of a recycling scheme for the office, beginning with the easy options such as paper and card. Or you may already have a recycling scheme in place, but how confident are you that staff are adhering to it? Do they know what to recycle where? It might be worth doing a knowledge refresher and/or undertake a survey to find out what level of understanding is within your office and if there are any barriers? Plastic waste is one of the biggest concerns for any environmentally-minded business – only 9% of plastic is recycled. Phasing out the use of plastic could make a big difference to the way your organisation handles waste, even something as simple as getting rid of plastic straws, cups, and bottles from vending machines or food and drink points.

 

Minimise energy consumption

Many businesses don’t know how much energy they consume and how easily this could be reduced. Something as simple as switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs or ensuring that lights will go off in rooms that are not occupied can be incredibly effective. More eco-friendly options now exist across the board when it comes to energy, from green hosting to sourcing energy from renewable providers.

 

Reconsider supply chain relationships

A percentage of your organisation’s carbon footprint is always going to come from its supply chain. Any business you work with, from office supplies providers to logistics suppliers, will have their own carbon footprint that will also affect yours. If you want to reduce environmental impact then look for eco-friendly suppliers, those that are aware of where they are using energy or responsible for sizeable CO₂ emissions – and taking steps to change that.

Your business can alter the impact that it has on the environment by implementing some of these key first steps. To find out about our green credentials and how we support our with their clients sustainability goals contact us.