In November 2021, the UK Government will host COP 26, the annual UN climate conference in Glasgow. It will boast one of the largest gatherings of politicians, businesses and charities from across the world to discuss how to reduce dangerous levels of rising temperatures and prevent the climate crisis from getting any worse than it already is.
It used to be a fashionable tendency to believe that hurricanes, storms and floods were mainly confined to the Far East and Asia, but the unprecedented recent damage experienced by Italy, Germany and the USA is focusing people’s minds more than ever. Indeed Joe Biden has just called for historic investment to tackle the climate crisis in order to recover from the recent storm.
So, whilst politicians and other delegates will wax lyrical about future policy ambitions in two months’ time, what positive contribution can the business community make now to affect change and an improvement in the environment?
Here are 10 suggestions that we can easily put in place to help the cause:
1. Reduce office space
Having let the genie out of the bottle nearly two years ago by encouraging people to work from home if they could, it quickly became apparent that we don’t need to go into the office every day. If fewer people are in the office and stagger the times when they do attend we can, over time, probably move to smaller premises which will reduce the office energy previously used, reduce fixed overheads and cut our business’s carbon footprint.
2. Encourage telecommuting
Closely aligned to the above I’m sure most of us have held Zoom meetings and webinars over the past two years due to the pandemic and it is now an entirely acceptable way of conducting business. By encouraging people to work from home wherever possible the environment will obviously benefit. Commuter traffic will be reduced and air pollution will consequently improve. Flexible working like this should also improve staff morale.
3. Know your own business’s carbon footprint
Whilst most businessmen will doubtlessly be in favour of reducing carbon emissions to help reduce the impact of climate change it might be argued that a large number haven’t got a clue as to what their own business’s greenhouse gas emissions are. There are, fortunately, a number of companies that can help to measure CO2 emissions and thereby enable any business to make better energy choices.
4. Reduce energy consumption
Although we have already touched upon this there are a number of simple practical steps that we can put into practice now if we don’t already do them. For instance, switching off the lights when leaving the office in the evening, adjusting the heating, or the air conditioning, powering off computers and printers at the end of the day. These are simple measures that companies can undertake to help reduce energy consumption and, in so doing, their impact on the climate.
5. Choose a greener working environment
It is now more than ever possible to choose energy saving office equipment and devices. Computers, laptops, printers, bulbs, lighting and most other office equipment can be obtained according to their energy efficiency and sustainability.
Hybrid and electric company cars will soon become the norm so why not bring that date forward if it is affordable to do so now?
6. Provide filtered water
We all surely know by now that drinking water is good for you. So why not offer a water cooler that serves only filtered water and obviates the tendency of staff to drink from plastic bottles which they bring in?
Plastic bottles can take decades to decompose so why not invest in a water cooler service that allows staff to drink clean, cold, water whenever they wish without contributing to ever-growing landfills?
7. Partner with sustainable suppliers
Nearly every company can choose with whom they wish to work. Why not, therefore, decide now which companies are the most environmentally friendly and opt to work with them if at all possible?
Many companies like to think that their suppliers follow best practices so why not help to ensure that they are environmentally as friendly and sustainable as possible?
8. Reduce waste
One guaranteed way for any business to improve the environment is to reduce the amount of waste it generates. All companies, irrespective of size produce waste. Whether it’s paper, plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic bottles, plastic straws, plastic cutlery they all add to the waste a work environment produces.
Perhaps it’s time again to drink water from a glass and tea, or coffee from a mug? This can only help the climate footprint of our business.
9. Use LED lightbulbs
This really is a no-brainer as it is a proven fact that LED lightbulbs, more than any others, conserve energy, help protect the environment and will reduce your company’s electricity costs.
10. Improve office air quality with indoor plants
A calming and pleasant office environment is not always easy to achieve, but indoor plants not only add to the office aesthetics but are also known to add to the air quality by transforming impurities in the air into much-needed oxygen.
11. An environmentally-friendly business
Many of these recommendations are easy to put into practice and will help your business to become more environmentally friendly. Perhaps of equal importance, some of them will help to cut operating costs and improve your bottom line, whilst at the same time helping you to stand out from your peers.
Contact RWB Group for Innovative Solutions
RWB Group UK strives for a better environment and we aim to help businesses to reduce their environmental impact with a wide range of industrial services including rail maintenance, utility surveying, and drainage and wastewater management.