It doesn’t matter what size business you have, if you’re a one person operation, or a large multinational: there are ways that you can cut your carbon emissions, and in return save lots of money!
Most of these simple changes have no or little cost to implement, but will bring you many cost savings over the long term. Meaning, a little bit of work now will result in savings for years to come. The right combination of small changes, can help to yield savings of £1,000s.
Not only that, but being green and ethical can help with your marketing. The Wall Street Journal found that consumers respond more favourably to businesses that behaved in a more sustainable way.
1. Turn down your thermostat
According to the Carbon Trust: turning your thermostat down by just one degree could save you as much as 8% on your energy bill. They even made this cool poster that you can put up in your workplace.
2. Switch off your lights when you’re not around
At A.M. Custom Clothing we have automatic sensors in our office that turn off our lights when there is no one in the room. But you don’t need to do this, since the invention of the light bulb, there has been a tool for switching it off again; it’s called a switch. Anytime you leave a room, just flick the switch, and you could save as much as 15% on your lighting costs.
3. Turn off your computer when it’s not in use
To run a computer and it’s monitor for 24 hours a day, it’ll cost you about £50 year. So if you work an 8 hour day, a computer will cost around £17 per year to run, if it is turned off during the hours that you’re not in work: you’ll save yourself a nice £33 per computer, per day. In an office on 10 people, that’s already a saving of £330.
4. Switch to LED lightbulbs
A few years ago, “energy saving light bulbs” became fashionable, even though people said they gave off less favourable levels of light and took a while to “warm up”, they did provide nice big savings by being more energy efficient. Traditional light bulbs give off a lot of heat as well as light, which is essentially just wasted energy.
But, LED light bulbs have come to replace energy saving light bulbs as the new cool kid on the block. They can provide you with up to 85% reduction in energy costs, and will last for many years. They do, however, cost a little more money, but the additional length of time they’ll last will more than make up for it in the long run.
5. Reuse paper
In a previous article, we discussed the importance of reusing, before recycling. And this theory can be applied to stationary, if you’re writing telephone messages, little reminders, notes or doodles on paper, why not do it on the back of something else? This will half your paper consumption (because you’re using both sides), and therefore cost. Obviously you can’t print that important contract on the back off a confidential internal document, but you can write notes on the back of the unimportant letter you received in the post this morning.
This is something that we do at A.M. Custom Clothing, we recycle the paper when we’ve finished with it. But before that, we re-use it to take notes and do workings out on. We’ve found we need to take less trips to empty our recycling because of it.
6. Reuse packing material
Many businesses, including us, receive endless shipments of products and raw materials in boxes. Usually, we keep them, tucked away in a corner and reuse them when we’re shipping things out ourselves. This means that we never have to buy boxes ourselves, we never have to deal with the recycling of the cumbersome things, and we help reduce the amount of waste.
Another trick, if we need to use packing material to protect the contents of the box, we use shredded paper (where we can). Obviously, you won’t be using your bank statements as packing material, but good old junk mail comes in handy again. Shred it. Pack it.
7. Check your refrigeration units
A bit more specialist, but do you use refrigeration equipment? Is the temperature the most optimum? Just 1 degree lower than you need the temperature to be, could increase your energy costs by 2-4%.
8. Service and maintain your equipment
Machinery that isn’t maintained properly, will become inefficient and will cost more to run. Inefficiency is what wastes energy, so a regular maintenance routine could actually be very cost effective.
9. Use green energy suppliers
There are a number of green energy tariffs. You use electricity, if you buy your energy from a green supplier you will reduce your carbon emissions with no continued effort. We’re not experts on find the best energy tariffs in the UK, so if you’re interested, maybe go and speak to these guys.
10. Buy sustainably produced clothing
Traditionally, cotton is a really dirty crop. But it doesn’t have to be! If you’re looking to reduce the CO2 emissions of your workwear or uniform, two options available are our Climate Neutral, Zero range or our Fairtrade range. Both of these are produced using renewable energy sources, and the Zero range is even certified by the Carbon Trust!
These ranges are produced to a higher standard than others on the market, so will last longer and won’t need replacing as often.