Green issues facing businesses

Many companies now include a green strategy in their business plan, whether it’s something simple like reducing the amount of paperwork they send out or more involved such as reducing the emissions from vehicles used by sales and delivery services.

Often it can be seen as inconvenient and more expensive to target greener ways of working, but small changes to business strategy such as sending corporate ecards rather than hardcopy ones or replacing old machinery with more eco-efficient models can save money in the long term.

For many businesses, in the future, keeping track of their greenhouse gas emissions is going to form part of law.

Energy usage for greener business

One of the ways that many businesses, both large and small, can contribute to bringing down the carbon footprint is by monitoring their energy usage. The simple act of turning off machinery or lights when they are not being used, or buying more energy efficient appliances, can decrease fuel bills and alleviate damage to the environment.

  • Heating accounts for a large proportion of energy usage in many offices. Did you know that turning down the thermostat by just one degree can save about 8% on your fuel bill? Does your heating come on only when it is needed or are you heating an empty office? There are many ways to reduce your heating costs and thus decrease your carbon footprint.
  • Lighting in a typical office costs around £3 per square metre but if you use energy efficient appliances and keep an eye on usage you could easily reduce that to £1 per square metre. Are you making enough use of natural light? Do you have lights on that don’t need to be on? Most businesses, if they think carefully about it, can reduce their lighting bills considerably.
  • Having appliances with built in energy-saving features can also keep down your bills and put a dent in your carbon footprint. Great savings can be made by switching off computers when not in use or only using the photocopier for large batches of work rather than many smaller ones.
  • There are excellent savings to be made too on the factory floor and the warehouse. Are you running equipment all through the day when it is only needed for a small portion of it? Is your delivery fleet using energy efficient vehicles?

Energy efficient business marketing

Being more energy efficient is often simply a case of changing the way you do things. For businesses this can mean, for example, deciding to go more digital with their advertising or customer relations using corporate e cards.

If you are sending out advertising or just want to thank valued customers for all their support then you don’t need to send out huge tracts of mail. The carbon footprint on a simple mail-out for around 5,000 people is quite large. You have the paper and card, the printing, and the fuel cost of having it transported across the country, not to mention the cost of recycling it afterwards.

Opting to send Christmas ecards for business contacts will reduce your overall costs (including the time it takes your staff to fill envelopes and take down to the post) and is more carbon friendly.