When running a more sustainable business, choosing to work with green-minded suppliers is a big step in the right direction. According to Carbon Trust, the average small business could save up to £7000 simply by improving their energy efficiency.
With the report stating a majority of companies could easily cut down on energy use, Instant Offices gives a breakdown of the cost benefits for business owners who choose to be more conscious in the workplace.
Data shows that implementing a few small changes can produce quick returns for a business:
- Low-cost and no-cost actions can reduce energy costs by roughly 10%.
- Cutting energy costs by 20% has the same effect on the bottom line as a five per cent increase in sales.
The green trend is flourishing, and more companies are embracing the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods businesses, leads a great example by implementing a Sustainable Living Plan, focused on reducing their environmental footprint and making a more positive social impact.
Business Insider reports that small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are also rethinking their energy strategies. And it’s not a moment too soon; current energy costs are impacting the environment and the bottom line of many businesses.
For example, heating in office buildings now accounts for 32% of total carbon emissions in the UK, and costs have increased dramatically. Businesses spent £22.5 billion on heating in 2015, which was a 49% increase from 1996.
The green benefits of working flexibly
By allowing more employees to work from home or telecommute more often, businesses can rapidly become more energy efficient. Compelling statistics from FlexJobs shows that in the United States, employers are encouraged to consider implementing flex work seriously:
- Commuting is part of the second-largest source of US greenhouse gas emissions; daily transport to and from work is a significant contributor to environmental pollution. Passenger cars are one of the biggest culprits.
- Offices are part of the fourth-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
- A 10% reduction in one person’s office hours leads to a 15% decrease in their individual carbon footprint.
- People working from home in the US prevent the emission of 3.6 million tons of commuting-related greenhouse gasses every year. That’s equivalent to planting 91 million trees!
- Remote work also keeps employees healthier, reducing their exposure to environmental pollution, poor air quality and germs. Healthier employees are naturally more productive and less likely to need sick days.
Tips for a more energy-conscious office
Businesses across the globe need to consider all aspects of their operations when looking for ways to go green. Some common areas of focus include:
- Electricity: Switching to energy-saving light bulbs throughout the building, and using timers for overnight and external lighting, can add up to substantial energy bill savings.
- Water: Encouraging employees to use water sparingly and wisely can also reduce the cost of utilities.
- Reusable items: The average employee generates 4.40lb of waste every day, according to Road Runner! Businesses can cut down on trash by replacing single-use paper cups and plastic bottles with attractive reusable cups and bottles, branded with the company logo.
- Sustainable supplies: Before ordering office supplies, research the available brands and choose those that have green policies, use minimal packaging and embrace sustainable materials.
- Paper: Going paperless also helps to make a dent in the daily 2lb of discarded paper waste. Replace printouts with e-mails and digital presentations and encourage employees to take notes digitally.
- Recycling: An estimated 70% of a business’s landfill waste can be recycled. Make sure your building or office park has a recycling programme in place.
- Commuting: Allowing more employees to work remotely cuts down on carbon emissions generated by their drive to and from the office, and also reduces their in-office energy costs.
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