There is a general increase in environmental awareness and businesses are expected to play a part in the drive for reduced emissions. Environmental issues have moved to the top of the agenda since recent climate change demonstrations by people across the world as part of the “extinction rebellion”. This included protests involving thousands of people across London.
All businesses, regardless of their size, have a part to play when it comes to reducing emissions, recycling and reducing waste. Society is becoming increasingly focused on environmental issues and if businesses want to attract and retain the best talent, they need to move with the times and get involved.
Do a waste audit
Before you start creating plans to reduce waste, you need to get a sense of what’s in your firm’s waste stream. By conducting a simple audit of waste across your business, you can identify the main areas that need attention and create a strategy to start tackling the biggest issues. Some waste management companies offer a service where they will assess your firm’s waste output and create a report, which you can use as a starting point for your waste-reduction strategy.
Most businesses produce a lot of paper from their printers. Very often, this ends up being shredded. To reduce your paper-related waste, start by encouraging your team to read emails on screen rather than print them. Where documents do need to be printed, take actions such as setting your printer’s default settings to double-sided to eliminate as much waste as possible.
Plastic or paper cups are another culprit in the office environment. By providing water fountains and encouraging employees to use refillable bottles or ceramic cups, you can drastically reduce the amount of waste produced. If you provide paper plates, replace them with reusable ceramic plates.
Introduce recycling bins to your office(s). Label them clearly and consider appointing a recycling company to collect and empty them regularly.
Cut your electricity usage
Cutting your electricity usage not only reduces the firm’s electricity bills but has the added benefit of being good for the environment. Simple changes like switching to low voltage LED light bulbs throughout your office and using sensors and timers to switch lights off when they are not in use can all contribute significantly to reducing your firm’s carbon footprint.
Once you have created your waste reduction strategy, it’s important to invest time in sharing the strategy with your team in order to reduce waste company-wide.
What can businesses do who deal with so much paper?
As accountants we used to deal with so much paper. Client papers would mount up and we knew something needed to change. Our team have made the conscious effort to move all our accounting systems online and all communications with clients through email. Using cloud accounting software like Xero and Sage Business Cloud have helped make our accounting firm become more environmentally friendly.
Another big way is having a paper bin by each employee’s desk and in the kitchen. This means when we do need to use papers on the odd occasion, we make sure it does get recycled. We also have a plastic bin for any plastic food waste, but also ensure we keep this to a minimum. There is so much we can do as small business owners and it is so important as a business to be more friendly.
Please feel free to contact our team if you would like to know more about what we do to stay environmentally friendly and what you can do. Alternatively, you can email us using the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible.