An important first step for any business is monitoring emissions. What's measured can be managed and what's managed can be reduced. The management and reduction of business carbon footprints can have a vast impact on tackling climate change than that of individuals, given the greater volume of emissions. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to improve the efficiency of your business and your profit margin. Why not also take look at our business webpages and calculator to find out how you can reduce your company’s carbon footprint by offsetting.
In the meantime there are lots of things you and your employees can do to reduce emissions:
- Switch off all lights and appliances at night. Lighting a typical office overnight wastes enough energy to heat water for 1000 cups of tea; introduce occupancy sensors, daylight sensors and local light switches.
- Switch to green energy suppliers.
- Turn off unused office equipment, including laptops and photocopiers, at source.
- Use cost-effective micro-generation where possible.
- Install recycling bins in the staff kitchens.
Flying & travel
- Where possible, use video conferencing or telephone.
- Plan ahead and combine trips.
- Share lifts to work if the distance is not within walking or cycling reach.
- Use public transport; it can often provide extra, valuable working time.
- Review your company car fleet for efficiency.
- Ensure heating is on at the right level and not too hot so people will have to open windows.
- Make sure heating does not come on unnecessarily in an empty building.
- Don’t block radiators.
- Ensure the office is well insulated and drafts are blocked.
- Keep the thermostat away from draughts or hot and cold spots. These will all affect the thermostat and automatically increase your heating costs.
- Don’t put hot equipment, like photocopiers, near cooling vents. The cooling system will need to work harder to cool an area that is constantly being heated.
- Maintain your equipment properly. If you don’t regularly check your heating equipment, you could be adding as much as 10% to your heating bill without realising it.
Demonstrate leadership with ecological schemes.
- Set up an environmental champion group to promote energy efficiency in the office.
- Tax breaks are available to employees taking bike loans.
- Install bike racks, showers and cloakroom facilites to make it easier for employees to walk, run or cycle.
- Offer flexitime so parents don’t have to use the car to get their kids to school and get to work all in a mad rush.
- Encourage home working. This can increase staff retention as well as save emissions.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
- Ban bins at people’s desks, or introduce recycling facilities at convenient points throughout the office.
- Use recycled paper and vegetable-based inks for printing; this can include using recycled toilet paper.
- Keep your motors maintained: If a motor isn’t working at its most efficient, it can add 5% or more to your energy costs. So make sure yours are always well maintained.
- Use high efficiency motors: When you next change your motor, replace it with a Higher Efficiency Motor. These can qualify for tax relief as part of the Enhance Capital Allowance scheme.
- Don’t keep motors running with an empty load: Always check that motors are switched off when you don’t need them, as even an empty motor uses 40% of the full load power.
- Find and fix leaks: Most businesses using compressed air can save up to 30% simply by fixing any leaks.
- Try to lower the operating pressure: Reducing it by just 1 bar (15 psi) will save about 7% of the energy.
- Ensure there is a good supply of cool air around the compressor: This will mean it doesn’t get overheated and use more energy than necessary.
- Keep freezer doors closed: On average, it will cost you £6 every hour a freezer door stays open.
- Ensure your system is at the right temperature: If it’s even 1ºC lower than needed, your costs could rise by 2-4%.
- Don’t let the condensers get overheated: Make sure they are located in a place with sufficient airflow.
- Don’t put too much refrigerant charge in: If it leaks it can increase your energy costs by over 10%.
Reach outside your organisation
Manage the supply chain; ask what your suppliers and distributors are doing on green issues. Reach both up and down stream.
Continue on to offset your business emissions or read how we work with businesses.