One of the most frequently talked about subjects in our world today is how to be ‘green’ and protect our environment. So as a business, how can we ensure that we are doing our bit to cut down on waste which will end up in landfill and harmful emissions resulting from the work we carry out? All over the world, companies large and small have implemented certain initiatives to help them to be as eco- friendly as possible. So what can you do to join them in saving our planet?
One of our main concerns as a business is the amount of rubbish we generate which ends up on landfill sites – so wherever possible, we encourage our customers to use packaging that can be easily recycled and reused, so long as the box is in good condition and not damaged or torn. Packages need to be fit for purpose to ensure the safe transit of the goods inside. Aside from ensuring you’re using as many recycled products as possible and are actively recycling in-house, one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to introduce separate bins for certain types of recyclable waste rather than sending anything you can’t re-use to landfill. It doesn’t necessarily require any specialist equipment – it’s as easy as introducing colour-coded bins, one each for bottles, plastics, paper, and ink cartridges. You can even get your ink cartridges refilled at a fraction of the cost of purchasing costly new ones.
When it comes to stationery, the best way to ensure we are doing our best for the environment is to use responsibly sourced paper and card taken from trees in managed, sustainable forests. Used stationery should then be recycled in the appropriate bin – even paper which has been shredded can also be recycled in this way. As with general refuse, there are companies who will collect your recycled waste paper for a minimal fee – so no numerous trips down to the tip with your unwanted paper. Wherever possible, paper can be also be reused as scrap paper to write notes or telephone messages on. Innovative packaging reduces waste
One of the most difficult areas to be eco-friendly is in the office or warehouse building itself. Staff need to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer to be able to work effectively and there is always the potential to waste energy without certain measures in place. However there some easy, cost-effective ideas that can be implemented to conserve energy within the workplace. Low energy or LED bulbs are a good cost-effective way of cutting down on electricity usage, timers can be fitted to lights in areas which are not always in use and various systems can be overhauled to run more economically. Alternative ways of heating large areas such as solar power and insulating walls can actually be more energy-efficient than traditional methods. Cheap, innovative insulation materials and good quality PVC windows can be a good way of keeping the heat from escaping. Energy use monitors are also a good way of keeping a record of how much energy is being used and where savings can be made.
Even if your company doesn’t use vehicles or any other type of transportation as part of the business, you can still do your bit for the environment by considering how you and your staff get to work. Car sharing schemes, the use of public transport and ‘Cycle to Work’ government initiatives are fantastic ways to cut your carbon footprint as a business as well as on an individual basis. Staff may even develop closer bonds through car shares, and increase fitness levels as a consequence of walking or cycling to work – so there are benefits for you as well as for the environment!