Pollution is making our lives difficult on a daily basis. The condition of the environment is deteriorating due to pollution. It is everyones duty to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Many businesses are taking steps to control their greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses are becoming more efficient, making a positive impact on our environment and encouraging others to follow similar steps. There are many ways you can reduce business carbon footprint; here are some most effective methods.
Landfill costs are increasing every year. Recycling your office waste can help to cut down this cost. Government figures show that commercial and industrial waste in the UK for 2016 was 27.7 million tonnes. Although this is a reduction compared to the 32.8 million tonnes in 2012, it is still an extremely high figure that demonstrates the importance of recycling over sending this waste to landfill.
“Managing waste correctly and responsibly can help to save your business money in the long term. In addition to recycling your office waste, your business can use recycled products such as document paper, cardboard boxes and packaging supplies. Old electronic items must be recycled in line with WEEE compliance laws which can help you to avoid potential fines. You should make it a company policy to recycle as much as possible in the office” says Green Plan-It, a waste management company based in Leicester.
2. Reducing energy usage
You should make it a business policy to switch off all the lights when not in use, especially at night. You can have occupancy sensors fitted in your office so that the lights go off automatically when there is no one in the room. It is also encouraged that companies switch to green energy suppliers for operating their business. Whenever your electronic equipment like laptops, photocopiers, etc. are not in use, turn them off right away. The amount of heating must be controlled with a thermostat. Your office walls must be well insulated so that energy is not wasted. You should maintain your office equipment well so that they don’t use too much energy. All these actions will reduce the carbon footprints in your office.
Whenever possible, you should skip travelling. You can use telephone or video conferencing instead to get your work done. Try to plan ahead so that you can combine multiple trips together and reduce the number of trips. For example, instead of going to a place for a meeting twice, try to resolve everything in on one business trip. Encourage your employees to use public transport and eco-friendly vehicles like bicycles for coming to work. You can offer carpooling services for your employees so that less number of vehicles are used when coming to work.
4. Introduce employee schemes
You can offer tax breaks for those employees who want to take bike loans. You can have bike racks so that employees find it convenient to come to office by riding a bike. If there are shower rooms or changing rooms, employees may get motivated to walk to office as well. You should offer flexible timing for parents so that they can make an efficient travel arrangement to drop their kids to school and then come to the office. You should encourage employees to work from home as well. This way your office utility bills will be reduced and the use of vehicles will also come down.
5. Go paperless
Papers make about 35% of office wastes. You should use as little paper as possible in the office. You should encourage your employees not to print any email or document unless it’s absolutely necessary. You should make backup copies of your documents so that they don’t get lost. This is a better option than making loads of paper files. When printing, use both sides of your paper to print; this will reduce the use of paper as well. You can use electronic signatures to sign contracts and documents; so, there is no need to print the contract. There are different software available now that can securely sign documents.
According to a study by EPA, 42% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by poorly procuring, delivering and disposing of goods and services. We should recycle paper and plastics used in offices. Recycling will result in less waste accumulating in landfills, so less methane will be generated. Reducing the use of vehicles and energy in offices can also reduce carbon footprints. Businesses should have effective waste management programs in order to reduce the carbon footprint and protect the environment.