Home Insights & Advice Eco-friendly technology: six ways it can help small businesses go green

Eco-friendly technology: six ways it can help small businesses go green

by John Saunders
4th Oct 19 1:39 pm

More than ever, we are aware of the impact that we’re having on the environment. We’re starting to change our habits at home but how can we change our habits whilst at work? In this article, we offer you some tips to help your business become more eco-friendly and explore new technologies to help your company go green.

Cloud computing

Paper has had a huge impact on our environment since the introduction of modern technology such as the printing press, which has lead to a mass demand and consumption of paper-based products. Paper is one of the most destructive substances from beginning to end. It starts its life by being cut down, one of the main reasons for deforestation, it then causes unwanted emissions whilst it’s being turned into paper.

Whilst we are encouraged to recycle, a lot of paper still ends up in a landfill where it either rots and emits methane, or is burnt causing carbon dioxide emissions.

Most businesses waste around 3% of revenue on paper and we bet that your business still uses unnecessary amounts of paper. You can start to eliminate your paper trail by moving to online software such as Sage 200 Software for accounting, online banking and statements via email. By switching your business to an online cloud system, not only will you massively reduce your impact on the environment and reduce the amount of waste, but you will also save your business time and money.

LED and CFL lighting

Business premises tend to be fitted with incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs which use up a lot of energy and cause a lot of waste. This sadly causes more landfill waste as well as a high amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the chemicals inside the bulb.

Consider changing to energy-saving light bulbs, allowing for you to cause less waste and pollution caused by manufacturing, transportation and energy production. This is a small change that can make a big difference to the environment.

Remote working

In today’s modern world, it is unlikely that most of your staff are situated close to the office or premise meaning that they can’t simply jump on a bike or walk to work leaving the car behind. The truth is, many of your employees will be driving to work each day, along with the rest of the country causing traffic jams and plenty of harmful fumes.

Allowing staff the option to work from home can increase productivity and reduce stress and emissions. With services such as Google Hangout, Skype and FaceTime working remotely has never been easier. Encourage clients and partners to meet digitally via these channels as they may appreciate not having to travel, you’ll be helping the environment and increase productivity for both your company and theirs by removing travel time.

Buy energy from a renewable source

No company can function without power, that is a plain hard fact. A lot of power still is produced by fossil fuels despite the damage they cause and their limited supply. Getting fossil fuels out of the ground and converting them into energy leads requires a process that contributes a lot of pollution and damage to the environment.

Switch to a renewable energy provider or talk to a commercial energy broker as this will massively reduce your impact on the environment and it is unlikely to run out of supplies. There are so many different types of renewable energy sources which are helping businesses of all sizes reduce their carbon emissions. Some of these are:

  • Solar Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Hydrogen Energy
  • Tidal Energy
  • Wave Energy
  • Hydroelectric Energy
  • Biomass Energy

Water dispensers & reusable cups

Most modern offices are fitted with a water dispenser to encourage staff to drink more water and take time out of their day, increasing productivity and better mental wellbeing. However, despite all the positives, it is having a bad effect on the environment. Using a plastic bottle water dispenser is using unnecessary plastic. Another way it is damaging the environment is the trucks that will be used to transport will be adding to the greenhouse gas emissions when they deliver and pick up your bottles.

The simple solution? Change your water cooler to a bottleless water cooler. They are simple and easy to work as they connect to your plumbing and have a filter allowing you a supply of clean and fresh water on demand. This is a great way to reduce emissions.

A great initiative to get staff to drink more is to supply them with reusable cups. How many times have you and your colleagues brought a coffee from an outside source such as a coffee shop? Most coffee cups are made from a material which can’t be recycled making them a single-use plastic and harmful to our environment. By supplying them with a reusable cup, you can cut down on their plastic usage and save them money as most coffee shops use an incentive to bring your own coffee cup and save money on your drink.

Some companies encourage staff to use reusable cups by supplying them with branded coffee cups, which not only promote your brand outside the office but also saves the environment.

Follow these 6 steps and you and your business’s footprint will be drastically reduced, you’ll feel better for helping the planet and saving your business time and money in the process. This article was written by Kelly Thomas, Marketing Manager at Smith Cooper System Partners.

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