GREENER BUSINESS CHECKLIST
1. Create A Sustainability Plan
Going green can be a huge undertaking for any organisation. There are many ways to go green but choosing what is right for your service and having a plan to make it happen is a good start. So before you get started it can be helpful to put a simple strategy in place to keep you on track with your targets and how to reach them.
To begin with, focus on setting some clear goals, and realistic ways to achieve them.
Then, evaluate the costs and benefits of each eco-friendly action too. Make sure to share your strategy with your workforce; and make sustainable actions simple and achievable, by supplying recycling bins for example. For that extra encouragement, consider implementing an incentive plan to help efforts progress, such as a cycle-to-work or office recycling scheme rewarded with treats or other incentives.
2. Switching Off
Even simple changes such as making sure lights, computers and heating are switched off when they’re not being used can make a huge difference to your eco-footprint – and your bills too! Research by uSwitch found that UK households waste £227m a year by leaving appliances on standby. So think carefully about your energy outputs and turn things off at the switch, close doors and windows to retain heat, and turn the thermostat down if possible.
Efforts to reduce energy consumption can also include installing timers on your heating, air conditioning or lighting systems so that they automatically turn off when not needed, and making sure that computers and monitors go into hibernate mode when not in use.
For a little extra support, there are several smart energy apps that can help monitor your appliances, which are simple to use and can integrate your lighting, electricity and heat into one dashboard. And for further advice on how to reduce your energy usage, many energy audit companies can assess your business to make sure it’s running energy efficiently whilst marking areas where you can make savings too.
3. Sustainable Energy Sources
As sustainable technology has developed, thousands of businesses have begun to take energy saving one step further by switching over to renewable sources of power such as solar, wind, tidal or biomass – which can be used to generate both heat and electricity and makes up a huge 85% of renewable energy in the UK!
On a smaller scale, one of the simplest changes you can make to your energy consumption can be to switch over your lighting. Using energy efficient LED or CFL lights can cut costs by £80 and save 320kg of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the bulb.
One of the easiest way for company to know where its best opportunities for real eco-improvement is to look at spending habits.
Thinking about going green with the goods and services you use for your business, it can be beneficial to review your existing suppliers. Make sure to consider whether your suppliers work sustainably, their use of any substances that could be toxic to the environment, how necessary packaging is, if any element of the product can be reused or recycled, and if you could find any local alternatives to reduce on delivery emissions.
5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
To improve sustainability, you should aim to produce as least waste as possible. At first thought this may appear to be rather a costly project, organising waste pick up and spending more time on training employees; but the option of running your business without recycling can be even more costly in the long run, simply considering the wastage you will incur.
If you speak to people who use your service, they may have some great ideas about how to reuse and recycle things. Older generations often took a more frugal approach and may come up with some great suggestions!
There are dozens of small changes you can make to have a big impact when it comes to recycling, but to list just a few:
- Purchase recycled office supplies such as paper and ink cartridges; or compostable food containers
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones
- Have recycling bins, including paper and glass, in your workspace
- Make an effort to recycle or repair old appliances and computers instead of throwing them away
- Offset recycling costs by selling your excess materials on to businesses who could use them
- Band together with other local businesses to form an efficient recycling process in your area
6. Green Marketing
As more people become concerned about the climate crisis, proving that your service is pushing towards more sustainable options will increasingly influence their decision to use your service themselves or for a loved one.
Make sure you celebrate your efforts in any marketing and promotional activities for your service.