5 Steps to make your business greener
If you’re a business and you’d like to be greener, the best place to start is to look at where you already are. There are some things that might already be great, but there’s probably a lot more you can do.
As a business, you may be the building owner or the occupier. Your building may already have efficient lighting, glazing and other increasingly popular components, great – what’s next? Now it is time to evaluate how efficiently you use your space. If you don’t need a space then no amount of efficient heating, cooling, or glazing is useful as you’re not occupying it. Think about your employees and if they need or want to be in the office every day. If it turns out they do, that’s fine, but you know it’s worth looking at to examine your impact.
Building management systems are there to make you comfortable, to provide fresh air. Again, consider how often occupants are in the building, it doesn’t make sense for systems to be on and running at conventional modes if no one is there.
Eventually you will be considering capital projects, and you should take into consideration decarbonising your heating and cooling. An efficient boiler is good, but a heat pump which runs on electricity is better.
Material use is a big deal and it’s a big part of your carbon footprint as a business. Look at the materials you procure and who you procure them from, are those suppliers also trying to decarbonise? You should favour suppliers who have regenerative supply chains themselves. Recycle materials where you can and don’t procure materials that you don’t need.
You may be located in a place with abundant green energy, you may be procuring energy through your local supplier and your grid may also be decarbonising. Fantastic. Next, you should probe combustion onsite. Are you using fossil fuels? An efficient boiler is great, but it’s no longer good enough. We need electric systems that are way more efficient and resilient than boilers. Become an active participant in the decarbonisation of your grid, and your area.
Corporate Social Responsibility
As a great employer, you will already have policies in place for holiday allowance, maternity and paternity as well as paying your employees well. Further to this, businesses should look to the community, do you offer apprenticeships? Do you support women re-entering the workforce after having children? Sustainability for your business is about doing projects that may not always make commercial sense, but they deliver good outcomes for the community. A business model that is detached from the community is not a sustainable business, regardless of the number of solar panels it has on the roof.
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