Being a good corporate citizen is important to UK businesses, and going green is a big part of that. Green practices within the business environment not only help your company save money by cutting essential costs, but they can also help you forge a better relationship with your customers, clients, suppliers, and the local community by reducing your carbon footprint and setting a good example to all regarding what we should be doing to be kinder to the planet. And, going green doesn’t have to be a huge initiative for your company. There are many small, simple steps that will add up over time to ensure that your business is conserving energy and employing environmentally strategies as a habit.
First of all, one of the easiest things that you can do is switch to an energy supplier that is committed to going green. And as the world works towards an eco-friendlier state, it’s becoming easier to find companies that provide green energy to businesses in every area. A simple way to find a company that both aligns with your green values and provides energy at the right price is by using a comparison site like Utility Bidder, where you can explore various different energy companies to find the right fit for your business.
While it is often a larger initial investment, considering the option of renewable energy for your business is an easy way to reduce the amount of energy that you consume, significantly reduce costs and be kinder to the planet. Solar panels, for example, can be installed on almost every kind of office building and you may be able to have them installed through your energy company. Not only will using the solar energy you generate help you to save money, but you’ll also have the option of storing surplus energy and selling it to other businesses in the community, providing you with a way to bring in more revenue and encourage greener practices in your area.
Recycling is a small yet very effective green strategy that should be easy for almost any business to implement. Most businesses go through a lot of paper waste, so making sure that these go into the appropriate recycling bins is important. Make sure that employees are provided with ample recycling bins to use in each room in the office and that they are clearly labelled so that employees know exactly where to put each type of waste.
Recycling is great but what’s even better is trying to completely eliminate paper use wherever you can. While there may always be some instances where printing or writing something in a notepad cannot be avoided, going paperless is definitely better for the environment and there are many practices that can easily be moved online will little hassle. For example, sending electronic invoices is not only an easy way to reduce paper use but it can also be far more convenient for both you and your client.
The impact of vehicles on the environment is massive, and if your employees all drive into work in their own car, collectively they are all having a huge impact. As a company, you can take steps to help reduce the number of employees driving into work each day. A car-sharing scheme is a popular idea; this encourages employees to work together to reduce the amount of traffic and fumes on the road by carpooling. One colleague will volunteer to drive and pick up other colleagues who live close by on the way into work. This can be done in turns to make things fair and has plenty of benefits for employees, who get more enjoyable commutes with others and save money on fuel.
Remote working is gaining traction, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen the offices around the world closed down and employees getting on with their usual tasks from home. Many businesses that were apprehensive about allowing their workforce to work from home have been converted as a result of the pandemic, and while it’s great for employee satisfaction and morale, it can also have plenty of green benefits for your business too. Working from home keeps traffic off the roads since employees don’t need to drive anyway, and more home cooking at lunchtime means less plastic consumption. And, the fact that employees aren’t physically present in the office means you’ll save a huge amount of energy. You might consider switching to a remote working office full-time or allow employees to work from home on certain days of the week.
Many consumers today will prefer doing business with companies that actively support charities since they know that alongside getting a great product or service, a part of the money that they are spending is doing some good. Supporting an environmental charity is a great green strategy to implement in your business as you will be actively helping to improve the environment by providing those who work directly in the industry with the funds to do so. There are several ways to get involved with supporting environmental charities; you might want to consider donating a certain amount for every product that you sell, asking customers to help out by donating at the checkout or organising a fun event where employees can take part in different activities to get sponsored for the charity.
Finally, a small yet effective step in going green is to use eco-friendly cleaners. Cleaning products are often full of chemicals and can be very harmful to both the environment and your employees’ health. If you’re working with a cleaning company that come and clean your office on a regular basis, choose one that uses eco-friendly cleaning products, tools, and materials. If you clean yourself, you can find plenty of eco-friendly alternatives to common products like bleach and disinfectant that are just as effective.
When it comes to going green, it’s often a culmination of all the small steps businesses take that make the biggest difference.