At the start of a new year most of us think about setting goals for the future. This blog aims to help you focus on actions that apply to just about every business as a starting point on its journey to sustainable development goals.
We haven’t included absolutely everything as this can be overwhelming and we want you to be motivated to take action! In addition to the ideas in this blog, we have a ‘Sustainability Audit’ that we can email you which includes lots of other great recommendations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free copy.
What does sustainability actually mean?
According to Dictionary.com, sustainability is defined as the quality of not being harmful to the environment, depleting natural resources and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.’
Wikipedia defines it as, sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Start by engaging your team!
Everyone needs to understand what the business is trying to achieve and how they can help to save energy, money and the planet!
Appoint a ‘Champion’ to keep the momentum going.
Now you have taken the first step start to look at how you can make improvements. You don’t have to do everything at once. Perhaps set a goal of one improvement a month.
A few heating improvements!
- Use a smart meter to monitor electricity usage.
- Set heating thermometers to recommended levels (19-21ºC for offices, 16-19 ºC for workshops, 11-14 ºC for heavy work and 10-12 ºC for stores)
A 1ºC reduction in temperature can cut fuel consumption by about 8%
- Replace old heating controls with ‘optimum start controls’ which ensures the building is warmed up when your team arrive.
Typically costing only a few hundred pounds, these monitor the weather and temperature outside. If it is colder they switch the heating on earlier. And if it warmer they switch it on later
Lighting that really saves energy!
Did you know that office lights left on overnight use enough energy in a year to heat a home for almost 3 months!
Remember ‘out of hours’ energy!
Did you know a photocopier left on standby overnight wastes enough energy to make 21 cups of tea!!
Other ideas & taking things to the next level
- Use video and teleconferencing to reduce the amount of travelling to meetings.
www.skype.com and www.zoom.us are two widely used systems – both of which can often be used for free.
- If you exhibit or run events then ensure they are organised as sustainably as possible to reduce the negative impact the events may have. Look for firms that can help you deliver this.
- Use modern energy efficient machines and equipment.
Not only do they tend to be much more energy efficient, but there may also be interest free loans to help fund them and enhanced capital allowances to make them more tax efficient.
- Check whether you can claim immediate 100% tax relief (via accelerated capital allowances) by buying government approved energy saving technology.
Details of the scheme and approved technologies are available here.
- Use the industry specific guides from the Carbon Trust for additional ideas to save energy in your business sector.
The Carbon Trust website contains detailed downloadable energy reduction guides for all major industries and business sectors
Email email@example.com for a free full copy of our ‘Sustainability Audit’ which includes lots of other great ideas. Each small step we all take makes a difference, so why not take the first step now!
Source: AVN. All web links given were correct at the time of writing.