Rarely does a day pass where we do not hear the words ‘Climate Change’, in fact it’s so common that perhaps we have all become a little desensitised to it. Or perhaps, we don’t seem to be taking it as seriously as we should be! The sad fact is that our planet is warming up, and we all need to act now to avoid catastrophic, irreversible climate change.
As part of Big Energy Week, it’s a great opportunity to see if your work, office, or business could make some changes and become more energy efficient, save money and help save the planet in the process.
Could your company actively manage its carbon emissions and push down your carbon footprint? There are a number of strategies you can put in place to achieve this, from using ethically sourced materials where possible, made from reused or recycled materials, to simply turning off the office lights when not needed.
Why should we do this? Why should we care?
Your business, whether you are an employer or an employee, all have a duty to explore environmental opportunities that enhance the environment and reduce your impact on climate change. Companies should understand the importance of monitoring their energy performance and identifying opportunities for improvement and reduce the environmental impact from energy consumption.
As the matter of our climate becomes more and more urgent, government bodies are likely to implement more aggressive policies. These will almost certainly affect your business, so why not get ahead of the game? Workspace Technology has scoured the internet and put together a list of suggestions that you could put in place today or start to implement over time, that could have a dramatic effect on the way in which your company tackles climate change by bringing down your carbon footprint.
1. Microgeneration – could it work for your business?
Microgeneration is a way in which a business can save money by generating their own energy. It can be a costly exercise, and not financially feasible for everyone. However, as most companies spend thousands of pounds a year on energy bills, the initial outlay cost could easily be recouped over time.
By investing in renewable energy your business can generate its own efficient energy supply instead of drawing upon more expensive energy from the Grid. Any power you generate can be used directly on site, stored for later use to lower energy costs during peak times and in some cases, fed back to the Grid to create an additional revenue stream.
If your business aspires to achieve a zero or low carbon footprint, then investing in renewable energy is a great way to achieve this. There is a government Microgeneration Scheme and incentives to assist businesses within the UK.
2. Environmentally Friendly Vehicles
There is an increasingly urgent need to reduce our carbon footprint, especially within the automotive industry, which contributes to 20% of the EU’s CO2 emissions and 14% of the globe’s total CO2 emissions.
Electric vehicles are more expensive to purchase; however they offer greater long-term savings. The government also offers subsidies to businesses going electric, saving you thousands of pounds on the purchase price. In addition to the tax benefits, over five years just one electric car can save over £6,000 in vehicle tax and fuel. Learn more
3. Create a sustainability Team
Employers engaging with one another discussing ideas can be far more effective than implementing new policies in isolation. It can also lead to some helpful suggestions that you may be able to use within the workplace. Employers are far more likely to engage if they have taken part in creating the environmental policy. Projects for your team could include starting a more successful recycling program or introducing energy efficient appliances and green cleaning supplies. Establishing channels of communication will positively encourage all employees to contribute to improvements in your environmental performance.
4. Use Energy Saving Features On All Devices
Make sure all your employees are aware that there are simple things they can do to save energy. Ask all employees to use the hibernation feature on their computers. Sounds simple, but anytime an employee is inactive on their device, whether it be for a lunchbreak, or simply away from their desk, by utilising this feature can save your business money over the long-term.
Where possible use the energy-saving features on appliances and other electronics like the printers, microwaves and air conditioning units. Advise all employees to use energy-saving features to help cut energy costs.
Shut down the air conditioning and lower your heating. Consider setting a minimum and maximum temperature in your office and encourage employees to turn off heating or air conditioning when possible.
5. Go Paperless
Printing when only necessary and implementing a paperless rule in your office is a simple money saving policy to put in place. You can share documents with others by emailing them or simply making them accessible on a shared drive.
You can also encourage your suppliers and any other companies you deal with by asking them to email any invoices or correspondence. Aside from reducing paper wastage, this also helps cut the total amount of energy consumed by the printer.
6. Use Energy Saving Bulbs And Light Sensors
Relying on natural light during the dark British winter months is simply unfeasible, however by switching to energy saving bulbs, you can help the environment and save your company money. Although LEDs are slightly more expensive to purchase, they are extremely long-lasting products. Many LEDs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours. This is approximately 50 times longer than a typical incandescent bulb, 20-25 times longer than a typical halogen bulb, and 8-10 times longer than a typical CFL bulb. Used 12 hours a day, a 50,000 LED bulb will last more than 11 years. Used 8 hours a day, it will last 17 years.
Switching to energy saving bulbs is an excellent way to make your office more environmentally friendly. You can push this one step further by not allowing your lights to simply stay on all day, by introducing motion sensors into your office. This will save you money over time and ensure lights are not left on when not needed to be.
7. The Big Brew
Another simple yet effective way to save on your company’s energy bill is to start a tea making rota. For example: if every hour or so a member of your team starts a round of teas or coffees, this means the kettle is only being boiled once instead of multiple times, wasting energy throughout the day. According to Npower, it costs round 2.5 p every time you boil a kettle. So if you implement a simple rota system you could save your business hundreds of pounds a year!
We know climate change is happening, it’s the biggest challenge facing our planet today and we all have a responsibility to help fight against it. We have the knowledge and technology to reduce our impact on the climate and help in anyway we can. Small changes can have a big impact, so why not try to implement a few of your own today and create a healthier eco-friendly work place.