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Reducing Carbon Footprint for Your Small Business and Tackling Climate Change

carbon-footprint

Climate change is a serious issue that we are all faced with, and it’s not getting any better. We need to take action today in order to preserve the environment for future generations. In addition to saving the planet, cutting down on emissions in your business can provide huge financial savings and help the sustainability of your business in the longer term. The Carbon Trust calculates that UK organisations can save up to £400 million a year by reducing their carbon footprint.

Last month, the government launched the Together for our Planet ‘business climate leaders’ campaign. Part of the initiative is to support businesses to cut their carbon emissions and thus contribute towards tackling climate change. The aspiration is to cut emissions in half before 2030 and to net zero by 2050 or sooner.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Every step that a small business takes on their journey to net zero adds up – not only in protecting the health of the planet but also in future-proofing their business and encouraging new investment, new customers, and new opportunities for growth.”

In case you’re wondering what net zero means, it is the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. For a visual explanation, see the following video:

Some practical ways to help reduce your carbon emissions and carbon footprint

Switch to LED bulbs

Install LED bulbs in your office to reduce power consumption. This may not seem like a huge change, but it will make an impact on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and save you electric expenses! The LED light bulb would cost £19 over its lifetime when the energy rate is £0.19 per kWh whereas an incandescent bulb can cost as much as £152 over that same period. So it’s not just saving you money but you are helping reduce the carbon emissions.

Introduce a cycle to work scheme

Reducing the carbon footprint in your company and the global environment can be as easy as letting employees make changes to the way they commute to work. Introducing a cycle to work scheme not only helps you do your part towards the environment but also helps your employees improve their health and wellbeing which in turn will benefit your business! What’s more, the staff don’t have to pay upfront and instead payments are deducted over a period of time through their salary. For more information, please refer to cyclescheme.co.uk

Insulate your building

In order to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s important that you take steps to make sure the building and its environment are as efficient. The most obvious way of doing this would be by using insulation in your property or where possible, add more.

It’s not only important to reduce your energy consumption but also make sure you’re getting the most out of what is used. For example, before replacing windows with new ones it might be worth considering whether upgrading them would offer a better solution given their age or energy efficiency rating

Manage resources better

Change habits within your organisation with regards to waste and day-to-day operations, simple changes such as minimising the use of single-use plastics, reducing paper usage especially reducing printing, and instead digitising processes and documentation.

Switch to electric vehicles

Your company can significantly lower its emissions and fleet costs by switching to electric vehicles. Electricity is cheaper and maintenance on such vehicles is typically much less expensive too.

For environmentally-conscious business owners, electric vehicles are often the smart choice.

Electric cars are exempt from clean air zone charges and may qualify for tax breaks – so whether your company buys or leases its transport fleet, all-electric vehicles will often be cheaper.

Businesses can also benefit from government grants that contribute towards low-emission vehicles be they a car, vans, or even trucks! More information can be found here: www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants

Fleet efficiency

If electrical vehicles aren’t an option, businesses can explore install GPS tracking devices to collect data on the use of their fleet and how to create efficiencies. The Energy Saving Trust offers several reviews to assist businesses to make their fleet greener and efficient. Paid for by the government, these are available to most businesses and organisations at no cost as part of the drive to promote the efficient use of energy. Details of this can be found here: www.fleethealthcheck.org.uk

 

In summary, businesses making an effort towards reducing their carbon emissions are fulfilling their corporate social responsibility and helping the environment whilst also benefiting commercially from reduced costs, increased profitability, and paving a path for a sustainable business. It’s not just the right thing to do but makes business sense too!

If you are interested to learn more, here are some great resources:

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