There is a general view that large multi-national corporations are the key contributors to pollution and climate change. While this is true in certain industries, it is also true that large companies are in fact adapting to a low carbon economy at a much faster pace than smaller businesses.
In fact, it has been previously suggested that small businesses are often more pollution-intensive when compared to bigger companies, if at a smaller scale. However, putting the combined CO2 output of small businesses together amount to a very large net output.
While it is difficult to calculate a precise level of environmental impact to which small businesses give rise, figures between 50% and 70% of total pollution levels have been presented in various reports (Hillary, 2004; Nordic Council of Ministers, 2005; OECD, 2007; London School of Economics, 2020).
If the UK is to hit is target of net-zero emissions by 2050, the small business need to start taking practical steps in reducing their carbon footprint.
Sustainable Water Management
While reducing emissions is considered the most important aspect of combating climate change, an often overlooked aspect is reducing water usage. The scarcity of fresh water is a global concern and affects all countries – even the UK, which is known of wet weather often suffers from localised draughts in summer periods.
Reducing the amount of water your business uses can be a key part of reducing your overall carbon-footprint. Try and ask an expert in water management to see if they can help you to reduce the amount of water you use and also investigate water-friendly systems so that you can stop any wastage where possible.
Switch to Chemical-Free Green Products
The chemicals that are found in traditional cleaning products have a huge implication on the environment and your health too. Where possible, you can switch to products which are non toxic.
Chemical-free products are readily available from many suppliers now stocking brands like Evans Vanodine. If you outsource your cleaning, ask your provider what chemical-free options they have or consider switching.
Reduce car trips
Riding a bike to work will offer you and your team many benefits. Some of them include improved cardiovascular health and fitness. In the UK, there are various government-run schemes designed to help, the Cycle Scheme for example, offer great incentives for businesses who encourage their team to ditch their car and instead, opt for a much more environmentally-friendly way to travel and save money too.
Offset your Carbon Footprint by Planting Trees and Shrubs
Trees and shrubs, believe it or not, are a vital part of the ecosystem. They also help to act as a filter when it comes to pollution. A great way to offset your carbon footprint is to sign up to tree plantation schemes or work with charities and organisations who have a focus on forest replenishment.
Apart from obvious benefit of helping to plan trees, this can form part of your companies “Green Credentials” and is a fantastic way to get customers and suppliers on board, showing you are conscious about the state of the environment and proving that you are on the right side of the climate change movement.
Recycle where you can
Creating a few bins for your recycling will also help you out a great deal. It is one of the best ways for you to make your company greener and when you have a clearly defined bin for paper, cardboard and plastic, you will soon find that it is much easier for others to get into the habit. A lot of households already have separate bins for rubbish, so it won’t be too hard for you to incorporate it into your business regime. According to Veolia, it’s possible for you to save up to 30% on your disposal bills when you recycle. By adopting a good recycling plan, you can ensure that none of your waste ends up in a landfill and again, this can be used to your advantage when it comes to attracting clients who are passionate about the environment.
Alternative Energy Sources
Alternative sources of energy can include everything from solar power to wind power and even waterpower. You can easily create electricity in a way that does not release toxins into the air. This will help the environment and it will also help you to make a positive change. These help the environment, and it can also reduce your energy bill far more than you realise. Switching to a green energy supplier will also help you out here.
Replace Your Old Appliances
In accordance with cost-cutting, you should know that most modern appliances come with an energy rating. This shows how efficient they are. The next time you know that you need to buy some new appliances, make sure that you check the energy rating so that you can see which ones are the most beneficial. You then need to check to see how it compares to some of the other products that are available so you can make a balanced choice about the item, what you need from it and the benefits it can offer you overall.
Source from Sustainable Suppliers
Green procurement is a very easy way for you to transform the carbon footprint. This will make your company greener and it will also help you to be more appealing to your customers too. This means that you need to try and source goods or even services in a sustainable way if possible. This may include using goods which are non-toxic, recyclable or even ones that are made from materials that are renewable. It’s also worth trying to create your own policy as this could help you to commit to reducing waste as well as lowering your overall greenhouse emissions. If you want to take things to that next level, you can outsource woodland management for your business grounds.
If you want to go green, then this will involve you making a lot of changes. That being said, as a business, you can save a considerable amount of money in the long-run and you may even find that there are plenty of government schemes out there that you can benefit from. You may even be able to benefit the health and welfare of your workers, which will in-turn, reap rewards even further.