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Environmental concerns have become extremely prescient this year, as the UN reveals international climate policy has not been enough to reduce the rate of global temperature rise. Ahead of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, more eyes than ever are on the actions of government and business alike to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But as a business, what can you do specifically to reduce your own carbon footprint?
The most direct way in which a business can engage with sustainability and environmental concerns is to address its energy consumption. Inefficient and wasteful use of energy is not just costly, but measurably pollutive; as a business, you have a moral imperative to reduce environmental impacts both locally and nationally, making research into more efficient processes and options a valuable endeavour.
Energy efficiency measures can be as simple as reducing consumption by shifting worker habits; company-wide communications could direct offices to turn screens and lights off as soon as the office is vacated, or to keep the heating system set below a certain threshold. Investments can also be made in energy-efficient appliances, from low-energy bulbs to advanced heating systems.
As well as your business’ direct energy usage, you can reduce your overall carbon footprint by thinking more sustainably with regard to your suppliers and manufacturers. Choosing businesses to partner with that share your business’ outlooks and approach to sustainability help reduce your combined carbon costs.
For example, booklet specialists instantprint are publicly committed to sustainable printing practices. Where other competitors in the industry might source raw materials from unsustainable suppliers, instantprint have a range of recycled stock that businesses can choose to invest in. Not only that, but 100% of instantprint’s stock is recyclable, which other printers may not be able to guarantee.
If your current supplier of promotional materials cannot make these guarantees, then this is a corner of your business that could continue to add to your carbon costs. This methodology can be extrapolated across your suppliers and distribution network; are they committed to sustainability, and are there competitors with a better approach?
Incentivise Sustainable Commutes
Your business’ commitment to sustainability shouldn’t stop with the business and premises itself. Your business is also responsible for the carbon footprints generated by staff in attending work – particularly in the form of their commute.
As a business, you could incentivise greener commutes through subsidy. You could enrol in a cycle to work scheme – which allows employees to sacrifice part of their salary to the discount purchasing of bicycles and accessories. You could offer electric vehicles as company cars, or institute a carpooling scheme with financial incentives relating to fuel.
Allow Flexible Working Arrangements
Lastly, you could eliminate your staff’s commute-based carbon footprint altogether, by enabling flexible working arrangements. Specifically, by allowing employees to work from home you can significantly reduce pollution, both in terms of staff commuting and office carbon footprint.