Simple Ways to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Your Business

3 Mar, 2021

Being eco-friendly is still high on many businesses’ agendas.  Not a day goes by without reminders in the news about the damaging effect that we are all having on the planet.  However, many businesses struggle to know exactly what they can do in practical terms to reduce their impact.  Here we set out some key ideas for you to consider both now and for the ‘new normal’, post covid.

Know your Carbon Footprint

Before you can make a change, your first need to know what your impact is.  The Carbon Trust provide a Carbon Footprint Calculator and Benchmarking Tool to help with this.  Alternatively, we can provide ISO consultancy, helping you to identify where you are now and where you need to be in line with the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard. 

Once you know where you are, you can then look at ways to reduce your carbon footprint.  Some ideas include:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Printing/Paper

Printing is not only a key cost for businesses but it is also a huge area for waste.  You could try some of the following to reduce both your costs and your environmental impact:

  • Implement a policy of reduced or no printing;
  • If you do need to print use both sides of the paper when printing where possible which you may find cuts your paper consumption by half;
  • Reuse boxes that you receive packages in to send out items again;
  • Have paper recycling boxes around the office so that staff can recycle where they can including waste papers, lunch wrappers etc.;
  • Avoid colour printing if possible – set printers to automatically print in black and white;
  • Buy recycled toner and ink – this can reduce the amount of metal and plastics going to landfill;
  • Place staff manual, handbooks and policies online rather than printing out large hardcopy documents;
  • Invest in air hand driers in staff bathrooms to avoid using paper towels.

Transport

If you do not have a fleet of vehicles, you may not realise that transportation is an area for you to be able to reduce your environmental impact.  However, have you considered the following?:

  • Encourage your staff to walk or bike to work;
  • Offer a bonus for those members of staff using a ‘green’ mode of transport – include public transport and electric cars within this policy not just biking or walking;
  • Consider keeping some home working, allowing staff to avoid a commute into the office one day a week for example;
  • Ask employees if they want to arrange a car share scheme. Again, you could include participants in any bonus scheme you implement for ‘green’ modes of transport;
  • If you do offer company vehicles, consider including electric or hybrids in the options available to employees;
  • Where possible, continue to use virtual meetings instead of travelling.

Energy

When it comes to energy, small changes can make a big difference long term.  Why not try out a few of the following and see what effect it can have on your business?

  • Switch to renewable energy;
  • Replace light bulbs to energy efficient LED bulbs. These are the most energy efficient lighting technology available on the market.  They last much longer and are more durable than other types of lighting.
  • If your offices have periods where they are not in use (e.g. evenings and weekend), try having an out of hours thermostat setting to conserve energy when no-one is in the building;
  • Make sure that lights are turned off when rooms/buildings are not in use. You could also invest in automatic switches so that lights switch off in rooms that are not in use;
  • Unplug computers when not in use. Encourage staff to completely shut down PCs after hours;
  • Look out for energy saving appliances when replacing old ones this includes, computers, printers, fridges etc.;

A few others

  • Work with other environmentally conscious businesses;
  • Buy local where you can;
  • Provide filtered water for staff to avoid them purchasing bottled water;
  • Consider installing a water boiler in the staff kitchen to avoid the need to boil the kettle;
  • Use reusable tableware for lunches/events that you host;

The above are just ideas that we have and indeed implement in our own business.  You may well have your own thoughts and we’d love to hear about what you do in your own business. 

How Can ISO 14001 Environmental Help You Reduce Your Impact?

ISO 14001 is the Environmental Management Standard that can help you to cut back on your impact on the environment and earn your green credentials. The system is proven to make business owners and managers more aware of their environmental responsibilities, including legal and regulatory accountabilities, and be able to manage and control the associated risks.

By implementing ISO 14001, you can make significant cost reductions just by using the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle approach! Thinking about if you really need to print that entire email chain can help you reduce your waste and cost. By being seen as an eco-friendly company, your company image will also get a boost in your market, as customers tend to prefer an environmentally friendly supplier.

For more information about the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard or to get your FREE, no obligation quote, visit our website here.

Already have ISO 14001 Management Standard?

Even if you have the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard in place you may not be making the most of your Standard. Environmental Management Training is a useful tool for those new to the standard as well as those wanting to maximise its benefits.

Our Environmental Management Training covers the core principles and structure of the ISO 14001 Management Standard, ensuring that you have a full understanding of it. You can also gain and expanded knowledge on areas including identifying environmental aspects, using ISO 14001 to identify areas for cost saving and the latest environmental legislation.

Find out more about Environmental Management Training here.

ISO Quality Services Ltd are proud to specialise in the implementation and certification of the Internationally recognised ISO and BS EN Management Standards.

Do you want to get ahead of your competition? Win more tenders or save time and money on reoccurring issues? Contact us today on 0330 058 5551 or email info@isoqsltd.com.

Alternatively, you can request a quote by filling out our enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

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