What Can a Business Do to Improve its Eco-Friendly Status?
Global warming is having a serious impact on our planet and causing environmental issues all across the world. Companies generate large volumes of waste and create significant pollution through their daily operations. While some emissions are unavoidable, there are various ways for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and become more sustainable.
The coronavirus outbreak has shown us how quickly the environment can heal itself when human activity is restricted. Research shows that carbon emissions have fallen by more than a third during the lockdown. This reduction in pollution can be attributed to extreme social distancing measures, travel restrictions, and country-wide business closures. The coronavirus restrictions are due to be eased over the coming weeks, which will mark a gradual return to normal working life for many businesses. Now is the perfect time for organisations to assess their impact and take steps to maintain the environmental benefits of the coronavirus pandemic. With this in mind, here are some of the top ways that businesses can improve their eco-friendly status:
Embrace renewable energy
Traditional fossil fuels such as coal and gas generate huge volumes of carbon emissions and make a large contribution to global warming. Fortunately, substantial progress has been made over the years to make energy more eco-friendly and sustainable. Renewable energy has become increasingly popular and UK renewables generated more electricity than fossil fuels for the first time in 2019. Commercial solar is arguably the most popular form of renewable energy in the UK for businesses and has become an attractive energy alternative when seeking to reduce harmful emissions, help the environment, and cut their energy costs. Here are some of the key benefits of switching to solar power:
Lower carbon emissions
The main advantage of solar power is that it is a clean source of energy that produces no harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. Switching to solar will instantly lower your emissions, minimise environmental harm, and significantly reduce your company’s carbon footprint.
Improved brand image
Installing a solar panel system on your commercial building is a highly visible way of showing your support for sustainable practices. Investing in solar will improve your green credentials, boost your brand image, and help you attract eco-conscious customers and clients. This should increase profits and improve your bottom line in the long-run.
Reduce your energy costs
Another attractive benefit of solar power is that it can reduce your energy costs and lower your average business expenses. Solar typically works out 65% cheaper than grid supplied electricity and you will essentially have forward purchased your electricity at 1/3 of the price for the next 25 years. In many cases, a solar panel system will payback in as little as 5 years.
Upgrade office recycling policies
As mentioned, companies generate large amounts of waste and commercial waste makes up around a quarter of all waste generated in the UK. Businesses should be responsible when it comes to their waste management and dispose of their waste items in a way that is eco-friendly and sustainable. Recycling is one of the most effective ways to reduce harmful emissions and minimise the volume of waste going to landfill. With this in mind, all companies should develop recycling schemes and encourage their employees to follow green policies in the workplace. Here are some simple strategies to boost your recycling efforts in the workplace:
- Recycle as many waste items as possible to reduce the volume of waste ending up at landfill. This should include paper, cardboard, cans, bottles, e-waste, and some plastics.
- Conduct a waste audit to help you identify ways to enhance your recycling efforts.
- Provide your staff with reusable water bottles to minimise plastic waste.
- Place easy-to-use recycling bins around your workplace and place signs up reminding your staff how to sort their waste items correctly.
- Remove individual bins and replace them with centralised recycling stations. This will encourage your team to recycle more and avoid throwing items in their under-desk bin out of convenience.
The coronavirus outbreak has given the environment a much-needed break from human activity and we have seen dramatic improvements in just a matter of weeks. The pandemic has allowed us to reflect on our environmental impact and all companies should help maintain the environmental benefits by planning a green return to work. Switching to more sustainable practices in the workplace will reduce harmful emissions, improve your eco-friendly status, and cut your average business expenses.