As the UK government commits to reaching a target to cut to almost zero emissions by 2050, businesses around the nation will be encouraged to change the way they operate and explore clean energy solutions. In light of this, research collected by Instant Offices discusses how businesses can implement simple changes that could easily cut down on energy use and save money. 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. Data also shows that implementing a few small changes can produce quick returns for a business such as:
- 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 5% increase in sales.
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.
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.
These are only a few tips to how achieve a greener office. The urgency is real and we all have to do our part if we are to tackle climate change and the environment emergency.