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An increasingly important factor to bear in mind when running your business.

How to make your business 'go green' in 2021

February 2021

The environment has become an increasingly important factor to bear in mind when running your business.

So, whilst offices and businesses remain closed for the foreseeable future, take the opportunity to strategise for a greener, more eco-friendly and economically-efficient 2021.

With climate change being one of the biggest issues facing this generation, it’s a problem all business owners should take seriously and look to reduce their company's carbon footprint.  

In this article, we will look at useful ways to tackle inefficiencies and what the core benefits are to your company. We also explore new research, which addresses waste in the construction industry.

Monitor lighting within your premises

The biggest waste of energy in an office environment comes from the lighting.

Yet with many firms opening the doors with fewer staff working on-site, you could find that there are rooms entirely unused or that you simply don't need as much of the office space as previously, and that could mean you're wasting money and energy needlessly.

The best way to combat this is by investing in lights that automatically switch off when inactive, so long as it does not affect your team's ability to continue operations.

Whilst this might be more expensive to start with, it could produce an energy saving of up to 15% each year.

Another simple way of reducing energy waste is by switching your traditional lightbulbs for energy saving ones.

Not only will this reduce energy consumption, they also last longer on average than normal bulbs.

Avoid unnecessary heat losses

The minimum temperature in an office should be 16 degrees, so there should be no need to constantly be cranking up the dial.

It is recommended in the winter months to ask your employees to bring extra layers of clothing rather than rely on adjusting the thermostat, and you may also want to consider installing insulation to improve the building's overall efficiency.

Lose the chargers

If your employees are using laptops as their main device, ask them to unplug it from the wall once fully charged.

As well as reducing energy usage in the office, this will also produce a positive effect on the laptop’s battery and performance, as leaving it plugged in non-stop can damage the battery life.

Choose an electric fleet

For businesses who use company cars, a great addition to your eco-friendly efforts is to convert your fleet to electric vehicles.

Whilst the idea of doing this might seem much more expensive, it turns out to be cheaper than you realise.

With generous BIK tax advantages and less expensive road tax, it certainly makes them an attractive proposition. 

Get rid of single-use plastics

We are all guilty of using single-use plastics from time to time, and it is vital that we cut down on them as much as possible.

They are usually dumped in a landfill, and – when broken down – release toxic chemicals that make their way into our food and water supply.

Examples of ways to replace these include metal coffee stirrers, using bags for life, re-usable water bottles and metal straws. 

Waste in construction

A new research project has been given £4.35m by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to address waste in the construction industry. 

The project will be delving into the materials used in the construction sector and at what point they become waste.

The hope is to move away from the current business model of discarding raw materials after use and start using materials that can continually be recycled.

Professor Julia Stegemann – Principal Investigator in the project – said: ‘we will also study how any changes to practices around minerals use would affect the environment and the economy, such as greenhouse gas emissions, costs to businesses or jobs."

Whilst these changes are instrumental to a greener future for your company, you need to make sure any additions to your business – such as electric vehicles, new equipment or any changes to your premises – are covered by your insurance.

For any questions on your insurance needs, contact us.

*Environmental Journal