There has been a lot of focus from the government on how businesses should be contributing to the net-zero carbon targets if the UK is to meet their goal by 2050. Businesses in the UK are responsible for 18% of the country’s carbon emissions but it’s not just that figure that should be motivating businesses to be greener as consumers are now starting to act with their feet and purses with a third choosing to purchase products from companies that are actively and publicly reducing their environmental impact.
So, as energy experts, we thought we would offer some tips on how your business could lower its carbon emissions, which could be much easier than you think.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle
As per our blog in September, which explored the benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling, you can improve your environmental credentials and even reduce your waste costs if you send less waste to landfill.
You should examine what waste can be reduced and what can be recycled so that you can ensure you have the correct waste contract/s in place. We can help you with this and review your contract/s and source better or more appropriate deals. You can then place recycling bins in appropriate places in your buildings and encourage staff to recycle through make it easier for them to do it. Most people will recycle at home, but their habits don’t necessarily continue at work so make sure you promote your recycling scheme to encourage maximum participation.
- Paperless office
Going paperless is an easy way of reducing waste. With all the technology now available we don’t necessarily need to print everything. However, this may require a cultural shift in your organisation to implement this.
Going paperless will not only reduce your waste levels it will also reduce your stationery and printing costs. You will need to assess what the reasons are for using paper and whether your business can find an alternative. If you can’t use an alternative for some things, ensure you use recycled paper and print double-sided.
Now that most staff have laptops encourage them to take them to meetings with the relevant content on which has been shared prior to the meeting or use a protector so that agendas and handouts aren’t needed.
Explore whether you can digitise any forms and documents so that you can store the required paperwork electronically rather than on paper. This can be supported by cloud storage solutions.
- Reduce your energy consumption through making your buildings more energy efficient
Did you know that on average 40% of the energy used in buildings is wasted? So, making your buildings more energy efficient will make a long-term impact on your energy bills and many solutions can have a relatively good return on investment (ROI) periods. LED lighting upgrades, in particular, can have a significant impact on your energy bills and can reduce lighting costs by up to 80% as well as reduce maintenance costs. Lighting upgrades tend to have shorter ROI which can be less than 5 years.
Other energy-saving measures can have longer payback periods but are still worth exploring. These include insulating the building to reduce heat loss and will assist with cooling in the summer. Improved doors and windows or better managing heat loss through them by better use of them.
- Utilise smart technology and energy monitoring
Incorporating smart technology in your buildings to control lighting and heating is a great way of ensuring that they are used only when needed. Fitting motion sensors and light sensors so that lighting is only on when the room is in use and will not require human intervention and stop lights from being left on unnecessarily.
Smart meters and half-hourly meters can help businesses to better understand when their energy is being used and to spot any anomalies that require attention. We can also help with energy management as we offer energy monitoring and bill validation which can help save money and energy through examining energy usage and ensuring that bills are accurate.
- Remote working
With today’s technology, it is much easier to allow staff to work remotely and reduce the time and cost of travelling as well as the associated carbon emissions. Transport has a big impact on the environment so reducing the number of vehicles travelling to your offices will have an indirect impact on your business’ carbon footprint.
This can also be seen as an employee incentive which can help with staff retention and allow them to work more flexibly. It could also ease office space and parking if these are an issue for your business. It would also directly reduce your energy bills of having fewer people using energy in the office.
- Green energy
Switching to a renewable energy provider can help reduce your carbon footprint, meet carbon reporting and improve your credentials through choosing a supplier that offers 100% renewable energy. As more energy suppliers are switching more of their energy to renewable energy and many offering 100% renewable energy there is a lot more choice and more competitive pricing.
Green gas is still evolving but more suppliers are starting to offer green gas deals, however, these are more likely to come at a premium at present.
We can help you to find the best energy supplier based on their energy generation mix and price to get you the right deal that fits your needs.
- Generate your own energy
If you have space and budget, then investing in your own electricity generation can help reduce your energy costs and the sustainability of your business.
And even with government incentives in the form of Feed-in-Tariffs being no longer being available the ROI on technologies like solar photovoltaics (PV) systems are now much lower than what they have been due to technology improvements and economies of scale.
- Establish your own green champions
Creating energy champions is a great way of getting your staff involved and motivated in reducing your energy costs and waste. They can promote and encourage other staff and help generate ideas.
Whatever you do, we are here to help
Wherever you are on your carbon reduction journey we would like to help you with our energy purchasing, energy management, waste management and contracts through our sister company TEQ Group. Our knowledge and experience in these areas can help reduce the pressure on your business and help you meet your environmental targets or aspirations.
To find out more about how we can help your business contact Enerteq today on 01423 815299 or click the button below and we’ll be happy to offer some advice.