Sustainability tips for businesses
Becoming a sustainable business (also known as a green business) is something that is becoming more common in recent years. The aim to achieve sustainability and a net-zero future is something that may be weighing on a lot of people’s minds, but where do you begin? In this article, we will be exploring some sustainability tips that your business can implement to start your journey to Net Zero.
Here’s what we suggest:
Did you know, one of the easiest ways to begin your journey towards net zero is by clearing server storage through reducing and deleting emails as well as files stored on shared drives? Although it’s something small, sending and storing emails uses Cloud storage which requires a lot of electricity. For most parts of the world, this is still generated by fossil fuels. By deleting 1,000 emails from your inbox, junk, and spam folders (not forgetting deleted items too!) this would have a carbon benefit of about five grams CO2e. The electricity needed to heat a cup of tea in a kettle consumes as much electricity as transferring and storing about 1,500 emails of one MB – now that’s some food (or drink) for thought.
Another small way to become more sustainable is to limit what you are printing. It is estimated that one standard tree, with 45ft of the usable trunk and a diameter of 8 inches will produce around 10,000 sheets of paper. Each year, billions of trees are cut down to be used for paper, and whilst many are replanted, it can take anywhere from 10 to 40 years for tree to grow. Printer cartridges are also another major contributor to the waste and pollution. The ink and toner in itself is toxic and filled with chemicals that have a negative effect on the environment, but also the cartridges are made with metals and plastics that aren’t recyclable. Instead of printing off any documents, use sites online that allow you to digitally sign.
When it comes to marketing your products, you may choose advertisement methods such as leaflets, business cards, and other exhibition materials. A great thing about most printing companies is they give customers the option to use recycled paper for printing leaflets and posters. When investing in other exhibition products like banner stands, finding products that are sourced more eco-friendly as well as being durable is important. This is because you are able to get more use out of it, therefore meaning you’re not constantly re-buying it which will help your business to save money and not contribute to landfill.
‘Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.’ It’s a term we all recognise, but how many businesses are implementing it in their workplace? It’s again, another small thing you can do to become more sustainable. Have separate bins whether that’s in a shared kitchen, office, or communal area that is dedicated to filtering paper, plastic and glass from general waste which can then be recycled for other uses. There are many different ways businesses can recycle waste on top of what’s mentioned previously. For example, instead of buying paper cups and plastic bottles, switch to refillable bottles and cups that can be washed and reused. Buying products that have a longer life than disposable items will help you to reduce the amount of waste you create.
One of the most prominent sustainable benefits of solar panels is their capacity to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. Solar panels generate electricity from sunlight without producing harmful pollutants or carbon dioxide, unlike traditional fossil fuels. By using solar energy, businesses can minimize their reliance on non-renewable energy sources, thereby lowering their overall carbon footprint and helping to mitigate the negative impacts of global warming. This transition to cleaner energy contributes to a more sustainable future, preserving ecosystems, reducing air pollution, and safeguarding the well-being of current and future generations.
Electric cars offer a range of compelling benefits over their petrol counterparts. One of the most significant advantages is their environmental impact. Electric cars produce zero tailpipe emissions, which not only reduces air pollution but also plays a crucial role in combating climate change. This stands in stark contrast to petrol vehicles that emit greenhouse gases and pollutants, contributing to both local air quality issues and global environmental challenges. Moreover, electric cars tend to have lower operating costs due to their simpler mechanics, reduced maintenance requirements, and the lower cost of electricity compared to petrol. This combination of environmental stewardship and financial savings makes electric cars an increasingly attractive and responsible choice for modern transportation needs.
Green South Downs Sustainability Certification
Launched in October of 2022, the Green South Downs Sustainability Certification is a bespoke sustainability award programme that was created by the South Downs National Park Authority in partnership with Green Tourism for businesses based and/or working in the South Downs National Park. The scheme helps businesses working in the food & drink, visitor economy, or land-based sectors on their sustainability journey and get recognition for the work they are doing. If this applies to your business and you would like to take part, you can find out more about the scheme and apply here!