5 Ways Your Company Can Reduce Its Carbon Footprint
What can YOU do for the environment?
Businesses will inevitably create waste and carbon emissions. However, there are several ways in which a business can reduce their carbon footprint and even contribute to carbon offsetting. Positively impacting on the environment does not have to be difficult or costly. Here are 5 of the best tips to make your company enviro-friendly.
1. Be Energy Efficient
There are a lot of simple things around your business that you can change to make a difference in the environment. Switching to LED or energy saving light bulbs are a simple and cost-effective change you can make. You may choose to go even further by installing automatic sensors, especially in rooms (such as the bathroom) that are not constantly occupied, this takes the thinking out of saving energy. Encourage your employees to turn off all systems during the night, when the office is not in use, that way energy is not unnecessarily being wasted. Try to replace your current appliances with energy efficient options that have an energy star rating. They tend to cost more, but in the long run they will save you money as well as the planet. Use efficient heating and cooling systems. Fans are a lot more energy efficient than air conditioners. Better yet, try to organise your space to optimise windows and doors (a nice breeze is completely free!). Investing in good insulation will keep your space cool in the summer and warm in the winter, so you do not have to have air conditioners and heaters constantly running.
2. Go Paperless
Let’s be honest, most businesses (and the world) are headed this way anyway. Going paperless is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Try to use email and online services to communicate with staff and clients. Office memos and signage can be transferred online. Going paperless will also save you money as there will be no need for printers, shredders, staplers and much more. It is also potentially safer, because important information will likely be protected by passwords and security software, whereas previously, confidential information had to be shredded to protect company information.There are online platforms where you can store your business and legal records without the need for paper files.
Offices and businesses are constantly generating waste, but recycling can greatly reduce that waste and put your unwanted goods to good use. Recycling is not just for paper; do not overlook appliances, metal, furniture and even food waste (many workplaces install outdoor composts). Make sure your space has large, and clearly marked recycling bins. Separating these bins into metal, paper, and plastic can also be a big help. Old or outdated electricals can be taken to companies that specialise in recycling office appliances, the same goes for furniture and other equipment.
4. Go Carless
If your business is situated in or around the city, or in a business district, then it should not be too hard for you and your employees to go carless. Public transport is becoming increasingly convenient, so encourage your staff to commute to work without driving. Private vehicles are one of the main reasons for carbon emissions, not to mention adding to mass amounts of traffic on the roads every day. You can even go the extra step and cycle to work if possible, save the planet and get fit at the same time! If cars are an essential factor in your business, then you should look into hybrid or electric cars.
5. Monitor Progress and Create Incentives
Once you implement these changes in your company, you should monitor your progress and always strive for more. Create company and employee incentives and get your staff involved in reducing their carbon footprints. Perhaps bonuses or prizes for members every month who exhibited great energy-saving practices. You may also choose to hold audits or meetings periodically to remind everyone about the importance of carbon awareness and wastage and praise their current progress (this can even be done via a quick email).
Reducing the world’s carbon footprint is not easy. However, your company can do its part by following these simple steps. Not only will being energy-savvy contribute positively to the environment, but it will likely save your company money in the future. Saving the environment can be done one step at a time, with your help!
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Akira is a legal intern at Lawpath working in the content team. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University.