Becoming environmentally friendly is no longer a side project for most companies. Going green has gone mainstream, with research finding that 70 percent of companies are measuring their sustainability efforts.
There are several reasons for this. Being environmentally friendly improves brand reputation, lowers energy consumption, and costs, and attracts better talent.
There are several simple steps a company can take to become more environmentally friendly.
1. Measure your environmental impact
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. If you want to become more environmentally friendly, you first need to know your emissions and your environmental impact.
The easiest and best way to do that is to install a carbon and energy accounting platform, which measures your impact in granular detail. Platforms like ClearVUE.Zero measure the emissions produced by each circuit.
That means you can know the emissions produced by each air conditioning unit, compressors, fridges, or offices in real time and in granular detail. In this way, you can know exactly which machines to target to become more environmentally friendly.
2. Shift to renewable energy
Last year was marked by a global energy crisis, which increased energy prices drastically. The crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, shocked the natural gas, coal, and electricity markets. In the UK, this crisis led to several businesses shutting their doors.
As markets remain extremely vulnerable, turning to renewable sources can provide stability and peace of mind to struggling business owners. Once built, sustainable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar farms produce energy and operate at an exceptionally low cost. They are also not subject to market changes, meaning your costs should remain consistent over time.
Renewable energy sources are also a great way to help the environment, producing up to 99 percent less greenhouse gases compared to coal plants.
3. Replace lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lamps
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) consume less electricity and are better for the environment than traditional lightbulbs. A CFL is simply a miniature version of the fluorescent tube lighting common in office spaces, schools, and public buildings. They work in the same way as larger tubes but are much smaller and are moulded in a bent parallel rod shape or in a spiral.
A CFL will give the same amount of light as a traditional lightbulb, using one-fifth to one-third of the electric power. It will also last 8 to 15 times longer. Because of this, they produce lower emissions of mercury, greenhouse gases, and other pollutants emitted from power plants.
This simple change can lead to a large environmental impact.
4. Reduce Paper Wastage
The average UK office worker prints over 1,500 sheets of paper every month. Up to 80% of office waste is paper.
The environmental downsides of using an excessive amount of paper include deforestation and a large amount of energy and water for production. Printer cartridges are also major contributors to waste and pollution. The ink is full of toxic chemicals that have a negative impact on the environment, and cartridges themselves are made from metals and plastics that are not recyclable.
There are effortless steps an office can take to reduce paper production. Online programmes now allow you to store, access, and share files across several devices. Projectors and electronic displays also mean you can project agendas during meetings instead of printing out copies.
5. Think handprint, not just footprint
Mike Townsend, founder and chief executive of Earthshine Group and the author of The Quiet Revolution, said companies need to look at their environmental handprints, not just their environmental footprints.
“The drive for net-zero and sustainable business is not just about reducing ecological and carbon footprints and becoming ‘less bad’ at what we do,” Townsend wrote. “Leading players are also finding significant opportunities to amplify their efforts by improving customer sustainability impacts – helping every customer in this way delivers a much greater, aggregate impact – known as the ‘handprint’.”
To succeed in becoming more environmentally friendly in 2023, a company needs to look at its entire value chain, empowering its customers to take more sustainable decisions.
How ClearVUE.Business can help
We help businesses avoid greenwashing.
Our industry-leading software measures emissions in granular detail and our consultants prepare an action plan to help businesses reach net zero.
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