- Climate Change
Many people have taken an interest in making more eco-conscious lifestyle choices, and whilst there’s lots we can do as individuals at home, businesses have a responsibility to be more eco-friendly and make some adjustments that will affect positive change on a larger scale.
With that in mind, we’ve put together some tips on steps you can take to make your business more environmentally friendly. Some of these changes will require a little more planning, but many of these are easy switches that any businesses can implement.
Use alternative energy sources
If you’re serious about making your business more environmentally friendly, you should think about switching over to alternative energy sources, such as solar panels, wind power, geothermal or hydropower. Switching to any of these energy sources will yield great results but do require some financial investment so, if that isn’t a viable option, consider how you can make your current power go further or switch to a renewable energy provider, such as Good Energy in the UK or First Solar in the US
Making use of natural light will reduce how much artificial light you need to use, energy-efficient bulbs will use less electricity, and a smart thermostat can help you track where energy is being wasted.
A relatively easy switch you can make to make your business more environmentally friendly is to go paperless. You can start using electronic payslips, receipts and invoices, and any in-office paper you use can be cut right back too. Use laptops or note-taking apps in meetings rather than using paper and download e-signature tools so you don’t have to print signable documents.
Use sustainable suppliers and green products
Whilst there’s plenty you can do to make your business more environmentally friendly, it will only go so far if you are working with suppliers who don’t share the same goal. You should look to use local suppliers where possible to minimise the environmental impact of long-distance shipping and prioritise using products that are non-toxic, recyclable, or made from sustainable materials.
Cycle to work
Switching your car for a bicycle can make a big difference. Our vehicles are a major source of carbon emissions, so why not start a cycle to work incentive? Getting as many employees involved as possible will make your business much more environmentally friendly, and it encourages a healthy lifestyle. Even if cycling isn’t a viable option, aim to carpool or use public transport instead.
Make use of plants
Planting shrubs and trees on your property is a great way to make your business greener (literally!) because they produce oxygen and are natural pollution filters. Plants make the workplace more aesthetically pleasing, improve the air quality and can have a positive effect on the mood of your employees.
Recycle old appliances and replace them with energy-efficient ones
Recycling is a fundamental practice of environmentally-friendly living, so your workplace should have clearly labelled recycling points to separate waste. However, if you want your business to go even greener, you should look at recycling your appliances too.
Phones, computers, tablets and screens that end up in landfills (known as e-waste) can instead be recycled. If you need to replace appliances and machinery in the workplace, make sure to do your research to ensure they are energy-efficient.
Work from home and take meetings online
Many businesses and employees have realised how much can be done online. Even in a post-pandemic world, we may see more people continuing to work from home, and this change to remote working could also have some big environmental benefits.
By not travelling to the workplace as often, the carbon emissions of your employees will be lower. Consider making meetings digital where possible too, especially if you have to meet with people who will have to make a journey solely for that purpose.
Switch to an eco-friendly bank
Most bank customers would be shocked to learn the extent to which their bank is secretly propping up the fossil-fuel industry. Between 2016 and 2019, just 35 global private sector banks funnelled a staggering $2.7 trillion into fossil fuel projects and companies.
Whilst most banks are quite vocal about the amount they invest in various climate-related projects for the PR value this brings, seldom do they mention their investments in the fossil fuel industry, which is helping to delay the end of the fossil-fuel era. Consider switching your company’s business bank accounts to a bank that is committed to divest itself from fossil fuels. Visit FossilBank.org to find out more.
Use a search engine that fights climate change
Switching to a charity search engine is possibly the easiest change you can implement to make your business more environmentally friendly. Charitable search engines use the money they make from advertising to donate to worthwhile causes; at SearchScene, for example, we donate 95% of profits to organisations that help to fight climate change.
Any business can do this — just choose a charitable search engine and then make it a part of your company policy to use it and make it the default search engine on any work devices. This way, by simply working as normal and conducting the searches you usually would, you will be helping the environment.
There are many steps you can take to make your business more environmentally friendly, from minor adjustments to bigger investments. Even the smallest changes can make a huge difference!
This article first appeared on Medium.