As the climate crisis heightens, sustainability has never been as high on the agenda for Gloucestershire businesses – with customers also placing more value on choosing businesses with real green credentials.
From aiming to send zero waste to landfill to switching to green energy, there are plenty of ways your organisation could do business more sustainably.
With Gloucestershire aiming to be a net zero carbon county by 2030, get started on making your business more sustainable now, with this hot list full of practical and helpful advice from Stroud-headquartered Ecotricity.
Switch to green energy
Switching to a green energy supplier, like Ecotricity, could make the single biggest impact on your company’s carbon footprint. A business that uses 30,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year could cut carbon emissions by six tonnes just by switching to green energy from Ecotricity.
Not all green energy is the same though – choose a supplier that invests the money from bills into new sources of renewable power, to help increase the proportion of green energy in the national grid and end our reliance on fossil fuels.
Look into your supply chain
Making your business more sustainable isn’t just an internal job – you should look at your supply chain too. Ask your suppliers how sustainable their businesses are; how many goods are sourced locally; if they use green energy; if they recycle wherever possible; how they package and deliver their goods; and if they’re willing to make changes to become more sustainable, to encourage them to adopt greener practices wherever they can.
Lower your energy usage
It sounds like a no brainer, but something as simple as replacing halogen light bulbs and spotlights with LEDs can save your business energy and money. Installing movement sensors for communal areas like corridors and car parks, so the lights only come on when they’re needed, is even better.
Regular maintenance is key to ensure heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are all working efficiently. And, of course, turning off the heating, air conditioning and lights and shutting down computers when they’re not in use can have a big impact too.
Consider a smart meter
Reducing your energy consumption is tough to do when you’re not monitoring how much you’re using in the first place. New technology, like energy management systems and smart meters, help businesses track energy consumption and actively work to reduce it, with companies saving around 5 per cent against their usual energy costs after adopting an energy management system – according to The Carbon Trust.
Cut down waste
As well as saving money on waste disposal services, becoming a zero to landfill business will have a big impact on your carbon footprint – and the environment.
Get your employees on board by doing a waste audit, identifying what can be reused or recycled. Be considerate when buying new items, asking if the business really needs it, or looking for more sustainable solutions such as refillable cleaning products. Then ensure that waste materials are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
Work from home
With the pandemic having shown us that many roles can be done just as effectively from home, giving employees the flexibility to work from home more often can save businesses money, reduce your carbon footprint and improve employees wellbeing.
Less commuting means less emissions from people travelling to work in cars or vans; and less people in the office means less resources being used – which could even lead to downsizing your office space and saving even more.
Choose greener travel options
Sometimes travelling for or to work is unavoidable, but it can still be done sustainably. For businesses that offer a company car scheme, consider switching to electric vehicles instead; and to encourage staff to commute more sustainably, try introducing a car sharing scheme, public transport season ticket loans or even better, a cycle-to-work scheme.
And avoid using air travel wherever possible, as flying has the biggest environmental impact.