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9 ways to reduce your business carbon footprint in 2023
Discover nine easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint at work and create a more sustainable business. From switching to green energy tariffs to investing in solar panels, these tips will help you make a positive impact on the environment.
1. Switch to a green energy tariff
Increasingly, energy providers are offering green tariffs which means that they will match what you use with renewable energy generation, or contribute to environmental schemes on your behalf. By switching to a green energy tariff you send a clear message to your energy supplier that there is a demand for renewable electricity. The way it works is that your company’s purchase of renewable electricity puts money into that market which drives investment into new renewable electricity projects and helps to decarbonize the power generation industry. You can read more about the types of green energy tariffs here.
2. Reduce energy use and waste
The use of energy and disposal of waste contributes to climate change. As an example, up to 46% of business energy consumption happens outside of normal working hours, with monitors and coffee machines being left on overnight. In addition, edible food equivalent to 1.3 billion meals ends up in landfills each year. Think of the four R’s, “Reduce Reuse Repurpose and Recycle” when your company makes plans to eliminate waste.
3. Switch to electric vehicles
Though switching to an electric vehicle (EVs) sometimes means a higher upfront cost compared to a petrol or diesel model, electric vehicles typically have a lower per mile (or km) cost than Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles. This is because electricity is cheaper than fossil fuels in many markets, there are lower maintenance costs for EVs due to fewer moving parts, and EVs are often subject to a lower tax than ICE vehicles. Here you can get an overview of the current and upcoming EVs based on cost and efficiency.
4. Reduce business travel and encourage home working
Face-to-face meetings and days in the office are still very important for us to innovate and be productive together. But nearly two years of remote or hybrid work taught us that we can reduce our GHG emissions while still maintain or improving profitability. Evaluate whether a physical meeting is necessary and whether the next business trip can be avoided. If it’s essential to travel, consider staying for longer to maximise your trip so that you don't have to travel as often. For those essential trips, make sure you minimize your footprint by reducing your emissions with biofuel and removal offsets.
5. Re-invest cost savings to further improve sustainability
Use savings made from low or no-cost actions to pay for more expensive climate action. If you’ve reduced your company’s energy bills by turning off equipment overnight, reinvest in equipment like smart heating controls, LED lights, or solar panels. Read more about the case of investing outside of your value chain here.
6. Install solar panels
Solar panels generate clean, carbon-free electricity, which you can use onsite, store in a battery, or sell back to the electricity grid in many markets. Solar panels also increase your company’s independence from energy suppliers and help save money. It’s a long-term investment that can last for up to 25 years, in some markets the payback period of under 10 years.
7. Communicate to your staff, customers, and supply chain
A PWC survey found that 70% of people want to work for a company with a strong social conscience. Explaining what you do will inspire others, attract staff, encourage forward-thinking internally and appeal to forward-thinking customers externally.
8. Only buy from businesses that act on climate change
Using your purchasing power to incentivize other businesses to reduce their GHG emissions is one of the most powerful actions to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. For example by working with businesses that are B Corp certified or recognized under other industry specific labels of sustainable practice.
9. Switch to financial services with strong policies on green investments
Focus on financing actions addressing climate change, and add to the demand for green and sustainable investments, choose a bank and pension provider with strong and transparent ethical investment credentials.
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