With sustainability now both an environmental and commercial imperative, companies must take tangible steps to operate responsibly through energy efficiency, waste reduction and conscious practices minimising ecological impacts. Here are impactful ways businesses can go greener:
Switch To Renewable Energy Plans
Transition electricity accounts fully to renewable energy providers supplying power from solar, wind and hydro sources, not fossil fuels. This immediately shrinks the business’s carbon footprint. You can talk to solar energy providers about where it could be viable to install panels too. Support greener grid sourcing.
Set Energy Reduction Targets
Complete an energy audit documenting current efficiency metrics as a baseline for improvement. Define targets for lowering usage year-on-year like 10% fewer kilowatt hours monthly through upgrades like low-energy lighting, upgraded heating and air conditioning controls and heat pumps. You need to track these targets closely.
Look For Ways To Cut Down On Printing
Encourage paperless workflows avoiding unnecessary printing through secure digital document trails, electronic approval chains and cloud-based content collaboration tools. Set printers to duplex default and have central release stations minimising thoughtless desktop printing too. There are tech solutions that you can use here too. For example, something as simple as converting a PDF to Word doc to change details can save you from printing files off to edit by hand. These small changes have big results.
Install Smart Thermostats
Programmable thermostats manage temperatures hour by hour matching office occupancy levels, so energy isn’t wasted overnight or weekends. Smart sensors will auto-adjust how equipment is used when rooms sit empty. Right-size climate expenditures.
Prioritise Natural Light And Ventilation
Maximise reliance on natural light, ventilation, and shade to illuminate and temper indoor workspaces needing minimal mechanical augmentation. Skylights, light tubes, and vents boost sustainability. Evaluate renewable options for adequate backup though, like solar battery storage.
Use Eco Cleaning Products
Swap harsh chemical cleaners for equally effective green detergents made from plant-based ingredients like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and citrus oils, which biodegrade safely without toxic runoff or air contamination. Eco surface sprays and soaps nurture health.
Install Water Saving Fixtures
Water is shaping up to be one of the defining issues of the foreseeable future. Reduce consumption with waterless urinals, low-flow faucets and toilets using less per flush or incorporating smart sensor activation. Limit landscaping irrigation needs through native plantings. Track usage monthly seeking new conservation opportunities.
Run An Eco-Friendly Fleet
For necessary vehicles, assess opportunities to electrify fleets through models like the Nissan Leaf or via hybrids. Even one greener vehicle signals intentions. Limit idling, maintain tire pressures and service regularly so that your fleet is getting maximum efficiency.
Use Refillable Containers
Cut single-use plastics by sticking to glass bottles, reusable pods/capsules for hot beverages, refillable spray bottles/dispensers and returnable food containers in kitchens that workers can take leftovers home in. Tiny habit shifts add up reducing waste.
Repurpose Where Possible
Before discarding old materials and assets from printer toner cartridges to decommissioned tech, explore options for recycling and refurbishing items given sheltered workshops or staff creativity. Brainstorm new uses before declaring equipment redundant to extend its lifespan responsibility.
Engage Staff In Sustainability
Green teams, sustainability competitions and employee-generated ideas schemes foster valuable insights plus ownership in achieving conservation targets company-wide. Grassroots energy, innovation and reminders amplify top-down policies’ impacts. Celebrate eco-victories together!
Use Sustainable Materials Prominently
Choose sustainable construction supplies like bamboo furnishings, reclaimed wood accents and low/non-VOC paints showcasing commitment through visible environmental design features plus signage. Transparency influences guests and staff to mirror such values too.
Eliminate Single-Use Items
Switch to reusables replacing single-use cutlery, cups, and water bottles by providing ceramic dishware, glasses, and refill stations. If disposables are unavoidable, insist on only 100% compostable items like wooden forks. Tiny swaps make big supply chain differences.
Adopt Eco-Conscious Purchasing Policies
Consult environmental ratings or verified sustainability certifications when selecting all products and services from paper supplies to electronics. Seek local, durable, and energy-efficient offerings minimising waste, emissions, and supply chains. Scrutinise sourcing thoroughly.
Measure And Report Impacts
Beyond pledges, green progress requires monitoring through tracking sustainability key performance indicators around waste generation, energy consumption, water usage and fleet emissions allowing ongoing refinement of reduction initiatives and reporting against specific UN sustainability development goals.
Design With Circularity In Mind
When planning buildings, interiors, and manufacturing processes, emphasise designs that allow eventual salvaging, refurbishment, and circularity to keep resources cycling rather than being discarded unnecessarily. Modular components also enable updating sections versus entire tear-downs when functions evolve.
Plant Trees And Greenspaces
Expand greenspaces using live plants and trees to absorb emissions, provide shade/cooling and enhance site aesthetics. If space is limited, install green walls or rooftops. Research species offering the best air purification and climate regulation. Natural elements boost worker well-being too.
Encourage Public And Shared Transport
Incentivise employees using public transport, bikes/scooters, ride shares and company shuttle vans if feasible through subsidised passes, dedicated parking, and electric charging ports. Discourage unnecessary solo car commutes further clogging roads for those dependent on vehicles. Make sustainable options the most convenient.
Look Into Carbon Offsetting
After reducing internally, turn attention to counterbalancing unavoidable emissions externally through verified schemes funding green initiatives globally – renewable energy infrastructure, reforestation programmes or conservation projects sequestering business’s residual atmospheric carbon outputs. Invest in societal-scale sustainability.
Prioritise Local Suppliers And Social Enterprises
Rather than defaulting to multinationals, assess capable local producers, family-run enterprises, and companies with positive social/environmental goals first for procurement and partnerships. Stronger community relationships, goodwill and reduced miles outweigh minor higher costs.
Pursue Zero Waste
Adopt zero waste aspirations through stringent recycling, stock minimisation to avoid wastage and phasing out hard-to-recycle materials like plastics. Then get creative repurposing the remnants as revenue streams – recyclable packaging as marketing mailers or food scraps as compost in gardens.
Engage Industry Experts
Staying abreast of evolving environmental best practices requires partnering with specialists in sustainability assurance, life cycle assessments and building certifications like BREEAM. Their support and auditing ensure your organisation follows Earth-friendly innovations.
Shrinking business environmental footprints hinges on ethos shifts prioritising sustainability manifested through everyday workplace changes backed by management commitment. While small operational tweaks cumulatively make big differences, embedding the whole lifecycle thinking systematically propels most industry progress benefiting communities too.