After some of the hottest temperatures seen on record last week we are reminded about global warming and how small businesses can help our country drive towards net zero. A sustainable business, or a “green business”, is an enterprise that has minimal negative impact or potentially a positive effect on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line.
Going green can boost your competitiveness, lower costs, and improve your business’s reputation with your customers and staff. Most importantly, consumer trends reveal that consumers are increasingly assessing a company’s environmental credentials, while business supply chains are under scrutiny to minimise environmental, ethical, and social impacts.
There are also lots of incentives for environmentally switched-on businesses and climate change awareness is also likely to see legislation designed to support environmental pledges and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
You don’t have to go green overnight, but even small steps are a step in the right direction. So, what can your business do to reduce energy consumption and make changes in a sustainable way? Here are four areas of your business to consider.
1. Look at your property
The energy efficiency rating of our homes is well known to all of us, but what about the building in which we operate?
If you own your building, you may be able to access grants and funding to help offset the cost of these changes. If you’re a tenant, talk to your landlord and discuss whether there are any changes they would be willing to make.
2. Look at your processes
How can you reduce your energy consumption in your daily business activities? Taking this step will help your company become a green business and can save you money on utility bills as well.
3. Look at your suppliers
Check out energy providers with stronger green credentials and see if you can switch. Reduce your carbon footprint by sourcing local and sustainable suppliers.
4. Look at your deliveries
Perhaps branching out into deliveries is a new area of your business to evaluate and assess, and if it’s as sustainable as it can be. Could you purchase an electric vehicle if your deliveries are mostly local? Would it be possible to choose courier and delivery services who practice carbon offsetting or who have made a statement about reducing climate change?
With a renewed focus on climate change and the environment, sustainability should be increasingly at the heart of business operations. Even small changes can help move UK businesses towards a greener future. The British business bank lists eight ideas on sustainability:
- Don’t use single use plastic;
- Use sustainable suppliers and service providers;
- Implement a greener commute scheme;
- Switch to low energy lightbulbs;
- Install smart power strips;
- Reduce water usage;
- Make workspaces more heat efficient; and
- Install built in recycling units.
Many paths to sustainability
Every company has a different level of impact on the planet, and there will be unique challenges for each company in becoming more environmentally sustainable, but now is the time to get it right and start now. Regardless of size, every business has a role to play, and hopefully we can all help slow and reverse climate change by cutting our carbon footprints.
As we embark on our journey to becoming a net zero company, you can follow our progress on our blog!