Going Green: our top six tips to becoming a more environmentally streamlined, savvy and efficient business

13th February 2020

The world is finally waking up to our environmental recklessness and the impacts on the planet so as we enter a new decade, what actions should we be considering?

In June 2019, the UK became the first major economy to pass legislation on net-zero greenhouse gas emissions – meaning we have a legal commitment to end our contribution to global warming by 2050.

Plant in Office

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for approximately half of turnover in the UK private sector and three-fifths of employment, according to data from the Federation of Small Businesses. This means they have significant potential to accelerate the de-carbonisation of the UK economy.

We give our top tips on going green below.

Look at business support initiatives

You don’t have to go it alone, as there are many initiatives that have been specifically created to help your business be more environmentally friendly.

Your business could be eligible to receive a discount on the Climate Change Levy (CCL) – electricity and fuel bill tax. You can check by visiting gov.uk. The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has also launched a green business accelerator for SMES and entrepreneurs. 

Reduce the carbon footprint of your business

Benchmark and set efficiency targets

Energy prices are still exceeding inflation, driven by Ofgem’s energy cap in the last year which caused suppliers to push prices up even further on their standard and default tariffs.

Encouraging lights and electronic items to be switched off in your place of business when not in use is a no brainer when it comes to reducing overhead costs.

A top down approach

Board members must prioritise sustainability initiatives for the long-term success of the business.

Removing fossil fuels

Switching to renewable sources not only reduces green house gas emissions, but makes financial sense too as prices in the renewable sector are plummeting. Government scheme, ‘The Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive’ provides financial support for green heat technology such as heat pumps and biomass boilers, which is worth looking at if you’re running off the mains gas grid or have high heat and water demands.

Make small changes to make a big difference

  • Use compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs
  • Use an energy-saving power strip that auto switches to conserve electricity
  • Drink out of reusable water bottles
  • Have recycle points for paper, ink cartridges, batteries, cans, bottles
  • Recycle electronic items – Dell and HP have technology recycling programmes that allow credit for upgrades and donations to charities. eBay for charity also supports the recycling of items with the profits going to charity
  • Use chlorine-free post-consumer recycled paper
  • Decorate with live plants to improve the air quality (and wellbeing!)
  • Use energy settings on laptops and monitors

Go digital

There are huge benefits to going digital across your business, including digitalising your accounting software for example increased time efficiency and access to real time information on all aspects of your business, whenever required. Plus, think about all those trees you’re saving each time you make the decision of digital versus print! HMRC’s initiative, Making Tax Digital, will increase the need to go digital in the near future, but it’s better to get ahead of the game.

Invest in electric vehicles

Upgrading to electric cars will most likely cut your fleet costs. Electricity is cheaper than fuel per mile and they are free from clean air zone charges. The government has also introduced tax regimes to incentivise the use of EVs. Whether you hire or buy, EVs are the sensible choice. Check out our blog for more on going eclectic for your company cars.

Prioritise green procurement

This involves sourcing goods and services that are produced and supplied in a sustainable fashion. Look for products that don’t contain toxic or ozone depleting substances, can be recycled or are made from recycled or renewable materials. Look for materials or products that don’t use excessive packaging and are designed as reusable not single use.

For more advice or information on ways in which to go greener with your business, contact us on info@hboltd.co.uk