With an increasing need to save the planet, both individuals and organisations have a social responsibility to operate in a greener, more environmentally-friendly way. Whilst offsetting an organisation’s carbon footprint is a start, actually looking at ways to reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint is also vital. It not only has a beneficial impact on the environment but can lower a firm’s running costs and increase its market competitiveness. But where should an organisation start?
There are many different strategies that an organisation can employ to lower its carbon footprint, often depending on the type of business that it operates. Taking an overall view and approach of how the business is run and where improvements can be made is a good starting point. Making a conscious commitment to become greener needs to filter down from management to all members of staff, and from every aspect of the business.
Waste not, want not
Simple measures such as reducing the amount of unnecessary printing or photocopying, using sustainable paper sources or double-side printing can make a difference. Allocate clearly-labelled recycling bins around the office to encourage staff to dispose of waste correctly. Recycle used office equipment where possibly, and make use of websites where you can pick up or offer free items such as tables and chairs, which would otherwise be sent to the landfill.
Turn it off
Turning computer equipment and electrical equipment off at the end of the day can save a business money and reduce its carbon footprint. In large organisations, remote monitoring devices are useful to be able to turn equipment off where it might otherwise be hard to go round and individually check items. Heating and lighting levels can also be controlled through remote monitoring devices, so that levels are lowered or turned off during times when the business is closed.
Many organisations now recognise the value of allowing staff to work from home and modern technology makes this even easier than before. Not only can it improve productivity, but with staff not needing to travel to and from work, reductions in fuel and CO2 emissions can make a positive impact on the environment.
But where getting goods from A to B is an essential part of a business operation, then it’s not practical to suggest eliminating this to become greener. Yet that’s not to say that an organisation can’t look at ways to improve how they operate this aspect of their business. Mobile app developers have created green apps which can not only tell you the most efficient travel routes, but also which roads are congested and where to re-route, thus saving time and CO2 emissions stuck in traffic. Green apps have also been developed to remind you when a vehicle needs servicing, compare fuel prices, check your travels and calculate your carbon footprint. If operations are based in remote locations, then rather than making regular visits by transport, remote monitoring devices can be utilised to keep a check on how things are running, thus reducing a company’s carbon footprint.