Eco-friendly measures are often believed to be counterintuitive for business profits, but that is not entirely true in 2020. There is no denying that some of the measures can seem expensive in the beginning, as compared to their traditional alternatives, but even they come with long term monetary returns that can make your green initiative more of an investment, rather than being an expense.
Then, of course, there are various other eco-friendly initiatives that companies can take to improve their electricity, gas and water efficiency, all of which come together to simultaneously decrease a business’s carbon footprint and the associated bills. To further illustrate how going green initiatives and financial efficiency can be synonymous to each other, let’s take a look at a few examples next.
Reducing Paper Use
Reducing the use of paper is one of the first steps to take, and it is rather an easy step to take in today’s digital world. Paper is both biodegradable and recyclable, which would have made it the perfect option, had it not been for the fact that that paper comes from trees! To those that are not entirely aware of the current facts regarding the state of forests worldwide, the following realities will feel quite alarming:
- Between 1990 and 2020, the planet has lost over 420 million hectares of forest cover
- Between the years 2015 and 2020, our earth has lost 10 million hectares every year on an average
- In 2019 alone, we lost roughly 10,000sq ft of rainforest every second
In spite of there being sustainable timberlands all around the world today, trees cannot be grown and cut down at a feasible rate to match the world’s demand for paper, furniture, construction materials, etc. Trees take years to grow and reach a stage where they can be considered useable for timber, which means that sustainable timberlands are not as sustainable as one might consider them to be. Natural forests are still supplying a large percentage of the wood required for manufacturing various wood-related products, including paper.
If more companies began to reduce their dependence on paper, shifting to digital mediums as much as possible, the stress on timberlands and the planet’s natural forests could be reduced. This would slow down deforestation to a large degree while providing sustainable timberlands to regrow.
From a business perspective, decreasing the need to buy paper can cut down on yearly expenses by a significant amount. Emails are faster, cheaper, eco-friendly, and more feature-rich in their capability to do the job that they are supposed to do. The same applies to software powered productivity tools as well. In other words, eliminating the usage of paper as much as possible can help businesses reduce their expenses, increase their overall productive capacity and even help save trees along the way.
Increasing Water Efficiency
Water is a necessity for life itself, but its various applications in business are not to be underestimated either. Almost all manufacturing facilities require copious amounts of water, be it for cooling an industrial-grade cutting and contouring machine, or for producing a bottle of orange soda.
Setting aside the industrial needs, even offices that have no direct need for water in being able to do the jobs that they do will always need a steady supply of drinking water. There’ll be sinks, toilets, urinals, showers, hoses in the grounds to water plants and lawns. In other words, if you have a business of any significant size, there is an opportunity to improve your water efficiency and lower your water bills. As to how you can achieve that, we will get to that part next.
Switch to a water provider who cares
Since the market deregulated and we all got the freedom to choose our own commercial water supplier, many businesses have popped up to compete for your custom. So many of them claim that they can offer cheaper prices and that the water is the same regardless. Sure, the water might be the same, but the service isn’t. There are suppliers out there who put water efficiency top of their agenda. They care about the benefits that saving water can have for the environment and for their customers’ pockets. Business Stream, is one of those that makes it clear that their mission is to help you save money and water, even pledging to help you save 20% as part of their ‘Make a positive difference’ vision.
When a business is able to simultaneously lower their water usage and pay the bill for that reduced water usage at a lower rate, the yearly savings could potentially be massive – and that’s something that businesses like Business Stream realise. They’ll offer you a good price for your water, as well as plenty of free water efficiency advice that’s relevant to your business. Whether you’re the type that only has toilets and urinals to worry about, or if you’ve got complex industrial or commercial challenges to overcome, choose a supplier who can work with you to lower your bills and benefit the environment.
Call in a good plumbing team for bi-yearly maintenance
Bi-yearly maintenance is advisable for medium to large establishments, but even an annual maintenance call should be enough for small offices. However, those check-ups are an essential element of doing your part for saving the planet’s diminishing water supply, by becoming more water-efficient as a business.
Unseen leaks and poor/excessive water pressure can lead to a great deal of water loss and higher water bills, without anyone even getting to know about the problem. Only proper maintenance checks by professionals can help us determine if such a problem is indeed making us lose our water efficiency and money.
Increasing power efficiency
Manufacturing plants consume energy at rates far beyond that of an office building, but even offices with a medium-sized workforce will put a significant load on the country’s dwindling energy reserves. It’s expensive in terms of money and taxing for the environment in more ways than one. While there is no possible way to stop the growing need for energy, it is definitely possible for intelligent business leaders to shift to an eco-friendly energy consumption strategy that can lower their expenses while boosting productivity simultaneously.
Shift to a different energy provider
Just as it is possible to increase water efficiency and get a lower rate per litre of water by switching over to a different business water provider, similar gains can also be expected if you manage to find a better energy provider as well. Look through your options and choose a company that practices eco-friendly and customer-friendly policies themselves. It’s a valid strategy for all types of businesses, but in manufacturing and packaging plants where the consumption of electricity is huge, even a small difference in the price of electricity per unit can make a huge difference at the end of the financial year.
Turn off all possible electronic equipment before leaving
A server cannot be turned off completely, especially if you are running a data centre, but everything else not directly related to the server can and should be switched off after the work hours. This includes everything from the lights and the heating and ventilation systems to industrial machines and even those tiny laptops in sleep mode. The general idea is that a business should assign the rotating duty to its staff for ensuring that everything is indeed switched off before leaving, except the machines that cannot be turned off for associated reasons.
Finally, we would advise considering the potentials for investing in an alternate source of energy. As the United Kingdom is not the sunniest place to install a PV system, it is better to look for options in wind energy instead. Not that solar panels cannot be useful in some areas, of course, but windmills do hold more promise for large factories and small offices alike. Since this requires investing money in advance, it might not be a feasible option for every small business, but for the ones that can afford it, the returns should be more than worth the cost soon enough.