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Is your business doing its bit to protect the environment?

Photo shows lots of paper around a waste paper binThe role, and education of, environmental protection is something that shouldn’t be limited to schools, science labs, or left solely down to the general public. According to the UN, the world's 3,000 biggest firms cause around $2.2 trillion worth of environmental damage - when you consider that there are around 5.2 million SMEs in the UK alone, it is very easy to see how a little more money, time, care and attention devoted to environmental protection could go a long way towards looking after our one and only planet.

There are literally countless factors that all add up to create environmental problems. There’s 5 in particular that not only contribute the most, but also are some of the easiest for businesses to adjust, and help bring down their carbon footprint whilst spending a little less in the process. They are:

Heating and insulation

Heating the World’s homes, offices, cars and more all takes vast amount of, often non-renewable, resources. Sadly, many businesses aren’t quite as cautious with their heating arrangements at work as they are in their homes - poorly managed heating schedules and timings, crossed with uninsulated offices cost. The upfront cost of working out a sustainable heating schedule, and investing in effective and efficient insulation is greatly outweighed by the cost of wasted heat.

Electricity

Much like with heating our offices, powering them is an equally wasteful process, the majority of the time. As much as £12 billion of energy is wasted in the UK by SMEs every year, from lights, kettles, monitors, servers, dishwashers, TV’s all being used inefficiently. Spending some time to work out what you need on, and for how long, would go a long way to reduce the amount of energy getting pumped through and wasted in your workplace.

Paper

Even with all the tech surrounding us in the modern age, paper usage is still incredibly high in the workplace - most of which gets thrown straight to landfill, sometimes without even being made full use of. Cutting down your paper usage, or even putting in place more sustainable measures to dispose of it, is not only good for your wallet, but also the environment.

Waste (E-waste, recyclables, chemicals)

Far too much waste goes to landfill, despite other alternatives. Paper, card, plastic, E-waste, food waste and more can all be disposed of via alternate means that don’t result in it sitting and (often not) decomposing in a landfill site. Businesses should try to follow the waste hierarchy, and investigate alternative streams for their waste, before throwing away items which could be reused, recycled, or simply repurposed.

Transport

Transport is a huge cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and swallows up vast amounts of the earth's resources. Whilst it may not be feasible to change the logistics of your businesses delivery systems (Although more aerodynamic HGV’s are a good start), you can encourage your employees to be more environmentally conscious, when commuting or on business trips. Trains, bikes and buses are all much more environmentally friendly than tens or hundreds of cars rolling onto your car park every day.

Being more pro-active when it comes to environmental protection doesn’t mean that UK businesses need to return to the dark ages, and it also doesn’t mean you need to spend more money on newer processes. In fact, protecting the environment could end up saving your business a lot of money in the long run.

 

Author Bio

Emma Gilroy is Digital Marketing Manager at Direct365, a specialist facilities management company who support workplaces across a variety of industries.

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Great article, making simple changes like installing hand dryers instead of using paper towels...the initial cost is higher but in the long-run it's less and better for the environment.

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