All businesses can influence the way they operate in order to reduce their carbon footprint and make an impact. This is regardless of how big or small they may be. There are countless changes that can be made in order to do this. Below, we pulled together a list of how businesses can reduce their carbon footprint.
Increase the Efficiency of Your Office Lighting
Changing the lighting across a building to more energy efficient options, such as LED bulbs, can make a huge difference. Also, ensure that natural light is used when adequate. Many offices are artificially lit. Natural light saves energy and brings a happier beam into your office. You can use solar shading and transparent film to help minimize glare and excessive heat. Another good investment is motion sensors. They will automatically ensure that lights are switched off if rooms are not in use. While these all reduce the carbon footprint of a business, they also reduce your electric bill.
Optimize Your Heating and Cooling Systems
You should implement temperature controls. You can do so by ensuring that heating and air conditioning is timed correctly and according to outside air temperatures. This can help minimize over heating or cooling. Also, ensuring that the temperature is minimal during the night is important. A lot of energy can be wasted if heating and cooling systems are competing. This can be avoided by installing a building management system. Also, you should consider installing window film. It allows light in but reflects the heat back out during the summer. This gives you the benefit of natural light without increasing the need for air conditioning. The film can also be reversed during the winter so that heat is reflected into the room.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Thinking about sustainability can act as an exercise to engage your employees. You can have them think of ways to reduce consumption of items such as water, paper, food, drinks, technology, and packaging. The manufacture and transportation of all of these items has an associated carbon footprint. By purchasing recycled paper or refurbished computers, phones and IT equipment is an easy way to reduce your businesses carbon footprint.
Minimize Emission from Food and Food Waste
Food takes a significant amount of energy to produce and transport. Therefore, food waste can be a source of carbon. This is particularly true if your business is serving fresh food every day. You should check with your waste management to see if food waste collection is possible. Also, if your business offers food, it’s worth seeing if you can have vegan or vegetarian options available. This encourages your staff to choose to eat food with fewer associated carbon emissions.
Minimize Single Use Plastic
By introducing sustainable policies as suggested above, your plastic waste will be reduced. Your next step in reducing plastic is to look at removing all single use plastic items. You need to be cautious of biodegradable or compostable materials as many of them can’t be combined with food waste.
If your business has a kitchen for employees to make and eat their lunch, you should consider buying silverware and dishes for them to use and put in the dishwasher. This will save a lot of waste that comes with plastic silverware and paper dishes.
Print as Minimally as Possible
Many offices consume large amounts of paper. You can take action to cut down on your paper usage by reducing printing. Have employees use online contract signing and have all presentations presented from their computers onto a larger screen. If printing is required, ensure that double sided printing is set as the default. This can help cut down any accidental or unnecessary printing.