By Adam Bastock, Small99
Providing practical advice that is straightforward to implement is key when guiding a business to going green.
Protecting the planet is everyone’s responsibility, including business owners. But sometimes, taking action to improve your business’ carbon footprint can seem like an impossibly huge task to take on.
Whilst some business owners are too caught up in their day-to-day tasks to be able to prioritise going green, others may find the seemingly massive task off-putting.
To help guide small businesses and steer them in the right direction, advisory company Small99 has released new tips and tricks on how to save carbon and cash.
They have a checklist of practical things you can do as a business owner to reduce your company’s activities, including simple things like switching energy providers, as well as adjusting key suppliers.
Their first steps involve taking on the ‘three pillars’ that your business’ emissions will broadly fall into. These include, energy, supply chain and transport.
Key Emission Pillars
Changing your energy supplier is Small99’s first ‘pillar’ in their advice.
Your energy supplier will play a key role in your business’ carbon footprint, and can subsequently have a significant impact on reducing your impact on the environment. 40% of the UK’s electricity is generated by using renewable energy, so a straightforward switch to an energy supplier that uses ‘clean energy’ would be a huge improvement.
Their advice also suggests making more thoughtful decisions, such as using your office’s heating and air conditioning unit more efficiently. This might seem like such a small change, but as of 2010, DECC estimated air conditioning cooling to be responsible for 10% of the overall UK electricity consumption.
Even simpler steps to take include switching to LEDs in the office, as they use 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. ‘Energy Star’ rated LED light bulbs also last 25 years longer, so that’s even less waste being produced by your business.
Insulating your premises will also have a high impact on your business’ carbon footprint. You’ll lose up to 40% of internal heat without thermal insulation, which is the equivalent of 2,100kg of CO2 per year. That’s the equivalent of driving 6,405 miles.
Reusing goods is another impactful strategy you can utilise to get your business closer to the net zero goal.
Shiny new office gear might be enticing, but in 2019, second-hand shoppers saved as many CO2 emissions as 50% of Norway’s annual carbon footprint. So getting online, and grabbing a second hand desk or an old monitor in need of a good home will have a high impact on your business’ carbon footprint.
Buying two new second hand desks could save you the equivalent of the CO2 emitted from driving to London to Edinburgh and back, twice.
Making thoughtful buying decisions is another good place to start, according to Small99’s path to an environmentally friendly business.
Removing plastic packaging as an option when purchasing equipment and supplies, as well as switching to a more sustainable sealing option instead of sellotape will begin to chip away at your carbon footprint.
As an employer, encouraging members of staff to carpool, cycle or use public transport to travel into work will help to get your company to a net zero. In fact, 69% of emissions would be cut from your employees’ carbon footprint, just by switching from a petrol car to a bike.
The UK government is actually supporting this clean travel initiative and incentivising the transition to electric vehicles with tax exemptions and a ‘workplace charging scheme’.
The advice also reminds business owners that it’s not just the packaging of your purchases you should keep in mind.
Your company generates waste every day, and changing your suppliers who deliver your goods to a more environmentally friendly option will have a high impact on your business’ carbon footprint.
Switching to a delivery company that offsets their carbon emissions, or one that solely uses electric vehicles and bikes, can have a big impact.
Green Business Advice Event
To get businesses on the right path to going green, Small99 organises events to provide clear and practical advice, in further detail.
The events are designed to accelerate your business’ transition to net zero carbon emissions, and will resolve the lack of guidance out there for small business owners.
You can expect tips that are free of jargon that will set out an attainable journey to follow, helping you to run a more sustainable company.