Where does the environment sit when it comes to your business strategy? Chances are you are focused on products and services, profits, your customers, and the people that you have working for you. By the time you throw in all of the operational tasks involved in running a successful business, you may be juggling a lot of balls. Worrying about the environment may not have been high on your agenda.
It should be. The environment is a significant concern right now, and governments and businesses cannot ignore their responsibility when it comes to green issues. Firstly, they have a duty to implement the changes to their infrastructures that will facilitate a reduction in the carbon footprint. Secondly, they should lead as a shining example to their teams and customers so that they can learn about the changes that they should be making as individuals.
No one person is going to get us out of this situation that we are in, but it is down to all of us to act responsibly and make changes within our businesses. Unfortunately, there may be some costs while you implement your environmental policies and procedures. However, the benefits to the world far outweigh the inconvenience to your finances.
Create An Environment Policy
Your company should have a green policy. In this, it should set out the expectations of the business as a whole, and the individuals who work for it. Work towards a target by which you will become carbon neutral. This will mean looking for ways to reduce the emissions that are produced as a result of the work carried out by the business. It should also look at ways to offset these emissions. This could be through providing funding for planting trees and creating renewable energy in third world countries through hydro, solar, and wind.
Your policy should include ways that you will involve and educate your team so that they can make changes within their own lives with a good understanding of the climate crisis.
One of the major ways that a business can help the environment is by improving its overall energy-efficiency. Look at your current operational infrastructure, work department by department, and look for the ways in which you are currently using electricity. Make sure that all rooms have automatic sensors for the lights. Wherever possible, switch appliances and computers off when they ate not in use. Use power-saving settings on monitors so that they go into standby if they are left idle for too long.
By installing a wifi temperature sensor, you can control fridges, freezers, and cold rooms and maintain efficiency. When you buy new equipment, check the energy ratings and factor this into your purchasing decisions.
Use Green Energy
While many of the major energy companies are still committed to using coal-powered technology to produce electricity, there are a growing number of smaller operations springing up that offer fully renewable energy. By switching to a provider that uses solar, wind, and hydro as their sources of power, you will be doing a considerable amount for the environment.
Get in touch with a few different green energy suppliers and see what they can do for your business.
Water is in short supply. While you may not believe this to be true, given the combined size of all of the oceans of the world. However, clean drinking water is running out. It is predicted that given the current usage, and based on the current loss through drought and pollution, by 2025, 1.8 billion people will live in areas where there is no drinking water. It is a big problem, and it is one that we need to consider in our lives.
In the workplace, you can have waterless urinals fitted. On toilets, you can have a short flush that saves water. You can fit push taps so that they cannot be left to run. If you use water in any form of production or within your work, you should look at ways of controlling the amount that you need.
Set Up A Recycling Scheme
Your business needs to be on top of its game when it comes to recycling. This is an area of specific concern as so much of the world’s waste goes into landfill. There are issues in many countries with the shipping of waste, and the subsequent dumping of this rubbish at sea. We are choking the world with our packaging, and we need to bring it under control.
Set up recycling stations throughout the workplace and train and encourage staff to use it. Try and find any local schemes for recycling additional items that cannot be taken in the regular collections.
Transportation is one of the major areas that contribute to the carbon footprint of a business. If your company sends employees overseas on flights, look at flying with airlines that plant trees to offset their emissions. This may impact on your airfare. However, low-cost flights have a much greater cost when they harm the environment so much. Make sure that you question the validity of any overseas travel, and also try to work out if there is another way around it. You could hold Skype meetings, for example.
If you run a fleet, choose vehicles that have the lowest possible emissions ratings. If you run deliveries, pick routes that are the most effective in terms of mileage. Try to take less congested routes, and if you can send items via courier instead, you should do that.
You should look at the way in which your staff travel to and from the workplace. If they are driving in, encourage carpooling. You could facilitate arrangements for lift shares for staff that live close to one another.
Have a look at setting up a cycle to work program. This could mean lending or subsidizing each of your staff members have a bike to ride into work on. You will also need to set up somewhere for the secure storage of the bikes while the staff member is working.