Sustainable Initiatives for Businesses This Christmas
With the climate emergency in full swing, increasing numbers of business owners are looking for genuine ways to foster corporate social and environmental responsibility. No longer are companies exempt from being accountable for their environmental impact and the ethics of their business practices – and consumers are more alert to authentic signs of change than ever before. Christmas is a time of giving, so, this season, your business can give back to the planet and make real strides towards preserving and maintaining the natural resources we all depend on. Here at Mypower, we know just how important it is for companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
With that in mind, here are some ideas for sustainability initiatives to implement over Christmas time.
Rethink your waste
Christmas can sadly be a time of incredible wastefulness. If you don’t already, now is the time to invest in a proper recycling strategy that saves as much of your business waste as possible from landfills. Carefully look at the volume and type of waste your business produces and, if Christmas is a busy time for you, how much it increases over December and January.
You might like to invest in a commercial waste baler so you can turn a problem (having to dispose of bulky cardboard boxes) into a solution that saves you money. Make sure you have proper sorting bins for recycling and ensure staff are properly disposing of electronics, batteries and things like furniture or broken equipment.
Invest in solar panels
If you’re serious about reducing your business carbon footprint, having solar panels installed is a sound investment that will save you money as well as tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. UK business buildings generate astonishing volumes of pollution yearly, but you can make a difference by committing to going completely energy independent.
With solar PV you are effectively able to forward buy your electricity at around 5 pence per unit, a figure that includes estimated Operations & Maintenance costs. This cost compares with a rate of 14 to 15 pence per unit from the grid – a significantly higher cost. Not only is solar energy much cheaper, you can protect your businesses from the inevitable electricity price rises.
On top of solar panels, you can introduce additional work policies that cut electricity consumption even further. Cultivate work routines where machines and appliances are regularly powered down overnight or, when not in use, set boilers, fridges and heaters on timers and invest in more energy efficient bulbs to save even more.
Consider your chemical use
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be unwittingly using chemicals and products that are hazardous to the environment. Fortunately, there are now many highly effective alternatives that don’t come with the same ecological harm. Investigate replacements for conventional cleaning products and rethink any weed control or pest management chemicals if they’re particularly toxic.
It’s also a great idea to routinely educate staff on proper chemical waste disposal, if this is relevant for your company, or switch to a chemical disposal or cleaning third party who you trust to use green products and procedures.
Take a look at your supply chains
Many brilliant UK organisations are indirectly involved in production journeys that include forced or unethical labour. It’s not always easy to determine if you’re part of exploitative and inhumane business practices abroad, but the onus is on every business owner to do what they can to ensure that the people behind their supply chain are treated fairly.
If you can, switch to local companies that you can form a direct relationship with; in doing so, you’ll also reduce carbon emissions by avoiding shipping from overseas. Partner only with those companies that are fully transparent and make a clear commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices that you can verify for yourself. This will not only keep your conscious clear, but it will also send a powerful message to your customers that you care about being part of the solution.
This year has been a challenging one for many UK businesses, to say the least, but the New Year is the perfect time to look ahead and start making sincere plans for a greener, more sustainable 2021. You don’t need to make massive changes – small, incremental adjustments here and there do add up. No matter the size of your business, niche or market, and whether you’re an experienced environmentalist or just starting out, there’s always something that can be done today, to bring us closer to a green future for all.