In 2016 flashing the cash is not fashionable. People are more concerned with looking after the environment than showing off wealth without considering the waste. The same goes for your business – no one wants to buy from a company that isn’t mindful of their impact on the environment.
So now you know why your company needs to go green, you need to know how. You might think the only way to go green is by shoving a recycling box in the office and giving your employees a lecture on the environment. Although these changes shouldn’t be sniffed at, there are many other ways you can cut your carbon footprint.
Most of your employees will commute some distance to get to work. In order to cut this try implementing a system for employers to save on fuel. You could create a car sharing scheme or a ride to work initiative to encourage green thinking.
Alternatively you could allow some of your employees telecommute. This would only work for staff who don’t need to physically be at the business. Telecommuting would not only save energy, but it has also been proven to make employees more productive; in the time they would normally spend commuting they are able to work.
Whether you employ a cleaner or do the dirty work yourself, you should use biodegradable cleaners to reduce the use of harsh toxins and chemicals. By curbing this you are reducing their introduction into the environment.
If you think it would be too small of a change to make a difference, consider the amount of change if every business took on board this small step! So the next time you run out of washing up liquid, bleach or soap, consider these alternatives to keep your workspace at its greenest.
CFL and LED Lights
Compact-fluorescent (CFL) and LED lights are the next step from the energy-saving lightbulb. They might have a higher price than your average lightbulb but they will last much longer and save a lot more energy.
On average switching to these bulbs can save you around £140 per bulb. And not only will you be saving yourself money, but LED bulbs come in a range of colours – meaning you have more choice about the experience you want to create for your customers.
If you want to take an extra step and make an even bigger change to your company, you should consider the option of alternative energy. The main sources if renewable energy are wind, solar and hydroelectric.
Depending on the type of renewable energy you wish to use, you’ll have to check that your premises are appropriate for them. Use this renewables selector tool to decide whether your property is able to make the change.
If you’re not ready to go the whole hog and throw some solar panels on the roof, the least you can do is make sure your business premises are as energy efficient as possible. The best way to go about this is with an energy audit.
Many energy provider websites provide an online energy audit tool, but if you prefer you can hire a professional auditor through your utility company. Things checked in the audit are the efficiency of your electronics, doorways, lighting and heating and air conditioning systems.
The simplest way to inject green into your office is by introducing recycling. Considering it is 2016, it is not exactly a new concept and the majority of your employees will already be (or should be) recycling.
What you can do on top of this to create a bit of interest is recycle outside of the box. Instead of just recycling metal and paper, think about all of your workspace appliances. Instead of buying furniture new try looking second hand.
One of the biggest wasters for businesses is paper. You might have a recycling box next to the printer, but wouldn’t it be better if you could reduce the amount you need to print entirely?
Many larger businesses are now paperless – not only because it’s environmentally friendly, but also because customers simply get sick of receiving so much junk mail. By reducing this down to an email customers can easily filter what they need to read and what they don’t with just a click.
You’re not going to get far if you don’t tell people about your mission. Your employees should be the first people you discuss the matter with, and after that your customers. These are the people you really want to press the matter on. Customers will be impressed by an environmentally conscious company, and employees will feel the need to continue the green work.
It could also be worthwhile telling your council about your ideas as they will have information about different schemes and initiatives you may want to consider.
Is your company green? Leave a comment below letting us know how you’re reducing your carbon footprint!
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We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!