Mark Lyttleton is an angel investor and business mentor with a special focus on businesses created to achieve a positive planetary impact. This article will explore the different actions businesses can take to reduce their environmental impact, making the workplace more sustainable while reducing overheads.
1. Promoting Green Transport
In many modern cities, public transport is not just an option but a necessity. However, for those who drive to work, it is startling to note that according to ADEME, a 30 kilometre round trip per day equates to almost 2,800 kilograms of CO2 emissions per year.
Fortunately, there are alternatives, depending on distance, including:
- Carpooling with colleagues
- Electric cars
- Public transport such as trains, tubes or buses
- Walking or cycling, if distance allows
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Implementing recycling policies enables businesses to immediately offset unnecessary landfill waste. In addition to recycling materials like paper, cardboard, plastics, metals and glass, other less common articles that can be recycled include toner and ink cartridges, food scraps and batteries.
Placing recycling bins or containers in prominent places makes recycling so easy it will become second nature to staff.
It is also important to recycle e-waste properly, since electronics often contain hazardous substances like mercury that are harmful to the environment if sent to landfill. Electronics recycling plants facilitate the safe disposal of old computers, phones, printers and other electronics.
3. Use Natural Light
One of the simplest ways to reduce energy consumption is utilising natural light wherever possible. This can be achieved even in darker offices, with a little creativity.
Having an open floorplan allows light to travel, particularly when walls are painted in lighter colours. Mirrors can be a great way to brighten up a dark corner. In addition, moving large furniture away from windows allows more light in, with energy-efficient glass partitions in place of drywall allowing natural light to travel.
4. Switch to Sustainable Energy
Depending on the location of its premises, a business may benefit from access to solar, wind or biofuel power options as an alternative to fossil fuel-sourced energy. Once prohibitively expensive, the cost of solar solutions has fallen significantly in recent years, meaning that in the long-term, solar energy often works out cheaper than relying on the grid.
One big advantage of using sustainable energy is the availability of grants. In France, OHM Energie is transforming the energy industry, helping families and businesses to access green energy and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions by planting trees.
5. Go Paperless
In an age of increasing digitisation, going paperless is the logical choice in most environments. Today, cloud storage is both affordable and abundant, enabling employees to store and access any form of data from anywhere. Used in tandem with CRM software, cloud storage also reduces the burden of handling and destroying data in line with data protection and GDPR rules.
Going paperless may seem daunting, but a few simple steps can help ensure a smooth transition. Employers should encourage the use of digital devices – including mobile phones – for recording and accessing documents, such as the minutes of meetings. It is also crucial to maintain a straightforward, easy-to-navigate filing system to make documents easier to find. Scanning needs to be made easy, while printing should be hard work, with a single printer in the office without paper loaded to make colleagues stop and think every time they print.
Article Submitted By Community Writer