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What businesses can do to reduce energy consumption, save money and reduce carbon footprint

We are living in an era where energy bills are spiralling out of control, meaning it is extremely important to keep costs low and reduce our carbon footprint where possible to help tackle climate change. In an ideal world, all businesses would aim to achieve net zero, carbon reduction and become more energy efficient. In the UK the government has set a net zero target for all sectors by 2050 and also has a tough goal of reducing emissions by 78% by 2035. This is our world, and we need to look after it.

The carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of greenhouse gases that a business produces and typically includes any business practices that involve direct or indirect use of gas, oil, petrol or diesel fuel.  Most of the electricity in the UK is generated from natural gas which is harmful to the environment.

There are many practical steps businesses and workplaces can take to reduce energy consumption and to become a much more sustainable business. It can be as simple as sharing a kettle with your co-workers. In this sense, sharing is caring for the environment. Car sharing is another great way to reduce your carbon footprint and, as an added bonus, means you can save some money on fuel.

46% of business energy is used outside the hours of 8am and 6pm in the workplace. Therefore, it is essential to remember to turn off any lights before you leave.

A typical office uses the following that contribute to Co2 emissions:

Human activities are responsible for almost all the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years, and one of the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions is transportation. This issue can be somewhat resolved by car sharing, using public transport, or, if possible, walking or cycling when travelling to work. If the business has a supply chain this can be greatly reduced by creating efficient delivery schedules and ensuring optimised transportation of containers.

It is the overall business practice, however big or small that will make a positive difference to the environment and contribute towards achieving ‘net zero’.

There are other energy-efficient solutions that will help a business to reduce its carbon footprint.  Switching to online meetings and online events is another great way to reduce your CO2. Services such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams proved to be very successful during the pandemic for schools, colleges, universities and businesses. Virtual work meetings are ideal as you don’t have to travel, can save time and the “chat” can be used to ask any questions or make contributions, whilst ensuring you don’t interrupt when someone else is talking.

How businesses can reduce their carbon emissions at a glance:

  • Recycle
  • Switch to hybrid or fully electric company cars and fleet vehicles
  • Switch to online meetings and online events
  • Use public transport or car share for business trips
  • Invest in green energy and green office equipment such as laptops as appose to desktops, LED lighting, Solar PV and EVC.

Electric vehicles are a great innovation and the technology is rapidly developing.  They are most certainly the way forward for the future. They do not emit pollutants; they are environmentally friendly and have a better performance and most importantly reduce a business’s carbon footprint.

Businesses can also take action to reduce their carbon footprint alongside saving money and reducing their energy consumption by switching to energy-efficient LED lights.

One of the easiest ways to cut long-term business costs is to switch from incandescent bulbs to LED lights. LED lights are the most efficient source of lighting available. They are the obvious way forward for businesses looking to reduce their long-term energy costs and carbon footprint. Businesses can also have lights on sensors, meaning they are only on when the room is occupied.

Additional ways to save your business money and become more environmentally friendly is to invest in solar PV.  Solar is a renewable energy source that has low maintenance costs and is a great technological development.  Solar is a form of green energy that provides a great environmental benefit. Solar will enable a business to become less grid dependent and will massively decrease energy costs and carbon emissions.

Business need to take a more holistic approach to reducing its carbon footprint and saving the environment.  It could be changing working practices, investing in energy-saving equipment and working with suppliers and clients.  We all need to do our bit to save our global environment.

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