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Looking to run your business in the most eco-friendly way possible? It makes perfect sense! Not only will you reduce your impact on the planet, but you could save money whilst boosting efficiency too. Here’s how.

Embrace a green mindset

The first step towards running an eco-friendly business is to have a ‘green’ mindset. This means recognising the importance of environmental sustainability and integrating it into every part of your business.

Start by educating yourself and your team about the impact your business may have on the environment and the benefits of reducing this impact. Encourage open communication and brainstorming sessions to discuss ideas too.

Look at your business critically

Before you can make meaningful changes, you need to understand your business’s current environmental footprint. Carry out a thorough sustainability audit to understand your energy consumption, waste generation, water usage and carbon emissions in particular.

Remember, small changes can make a big difference, so don’t worry if you can’t tackle everything at once.

 
Try to identify areas where your business could improve its environmental performance and set specific, measurable goals to reduce your impact over time.

Be more energy efficient

Energy consumption contributes a lot to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. By making your business more energy-efficient, you can reduce your carbon footprint and save money on utility bills too. Start by looking at your energy usage to work out where cuts can be made.

  • Is it time to upgrade to more energy-efficient appliances?
  • Perhaps you could install programmable thermostats or switch to LED lighting?

Again, get your team involved by encouraging them to power down computers and other electronic devices when they’re not being used. You could also consider investing in renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines if possible.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Reducing waste whilst reusing or recycling anything we can applies just as much to your business as it does at home. So, look for ways to cut waste any way you can, whether it’s by using recycled materials, going paperless, or finding creative ways to repurpose leftover materials. This approach can also be beneficial for the financial efficiency of your business, reducing costs by managing waste and consumption.

Put out plenty of easily accessible recycling bins and discuss with your employees about the importance of dividing up waste properly. You might even consider partnering with local recycling facilities or organisations that specialise in repurposing waste products.

Choose sustainable suppliers

The products and services you use in your business can have a big environmental impact, so it’s worth choosing suppliers who share your commitment to sustainability. Look for those that make eco-friendly practices a priority, such as using renewable materials and less packaging.

You might want to also partner with local suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of transportation and support your local economy.

Encourage sustainable transportation

Where you do have to get supplies shipped in from further away, choose logistics companies that share your goal for going green. This might be by optimising delivery routes, consolidating shipments or using fuel-efficient vehicles.

Your team can also get involved by thinking about things like how they get to work. Could they share lifts, use public transport, or ride a bike there? You could even offer incentives like subsidies or preferential parking for eco-friendly commuting options. Other options might include a salary sacrifice system for the cycle to work scheme.

Communicate your commitment

Finally, don’t forget to communicate your commitment to sustainability, not just to your employees but your customers, suppliers and stakeholders too. Shout about your eco-friendly initiatives and achievements through your website, social media channels and marketing materials.

Highlight the environmental benefits of your products or services and emphasise how you’re making a real difference to the planet. By doing all this, you’re likely to not only attract environmentally conscious customers, you’ll also better stand out from competitors and inspire others to follow your lead.
 

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Are there any tax reliefs or financial incentives to help?

There are actually quite a few tax reliefs and financial incentives available to businesses to encourage them to become more eco-friendly, including some types of capital allowances.

Enhanced capital allowances (ECAs)

ECAs allow businesses to claim 100% first-year capital allowances on investments in certain energy-saving equipment, like energy-efficient lighting, boilers, and certain vehicles.

Annual Investment Allowance (AIA)

Another type of capital allowance, the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) means that businesses can deduct the full cost of qualifying plant and machinery purchases from their profits before tax. This can include investments in eco-friendly equipment and technologies.

Research and Development (R&D) tax credits

Businesses that invest in certain R&D activities aimed at developing new eco-friendly products, processes or services may be able to claim R&D tax relief, which can reduce their tax bill or give a cash payment.

Green grants and loans

There are various government-funded grants and loans available to support businesses who want to be more eco-friendly. This money can be used to help cover the cost of things like renewable energy installations and waste reduction initiatives.

These grants and loans are often provided by local or central government, so a good place to start is by looking at the Gov.uk website, or getting in touch with your local council.

Business Rates Relief

Some local authorities offer business rates relief for eco-friendly businesses or properties with specific energy-saving features, like solar panels or energy-efficient heating systems. Again, it’s well worth speaking to your local council to find out more.

Get clued up on what’s available

As with all reliefs, loans, and grants, not all businesses will be eligible for everything. Whilst tax reliefs tend to apply across the board, many grants and loans vary depending on where in the country you are. Take time to research what’s out there, particularly in terms of eligibility and deadlines.

Learn more about our online accounting services for businesses. Call 020 3355 4047 to chat to the team, and get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Stephanie Whalley

Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.

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