Eight Steps to Make Your Small Business a Green Business
The news is filled with doom and gloom about the environment and the damage humans are doing to it. As a small business owner there are lots of things that can be done to lessen your company’s impact on the environment and as an added benefit you may even be able to save a few quid in the process.
The list of ‘Green’ ideas below is by no means exhaustive but it should hopefully give you some practical ideas of changes you can make.
1. Turn things off
Ok, so this is an obvious one to start with but simply switching the lights and office equipment, such as printers, faxes, monitors and photocopiers off at night will not only help the environment by reducing CO2 but also save your business money.
Green Fact - The average computer and flat screen monitor costs £20 per year if not switched off overnight, that’s £2,000 and 9 tonnes of CO2 for every 100 workstations.
Green Fact - Leaving a photocopier on standby overnight and at weekends instead of switching it off costs £33 per year and emits around 144kg of CO2.
2. Turn back the thermostat during unoccupied times
This is a simple fix that will save tremendously in heating and cooling bills. Once you see the money that you've pocketed, use it to buy a programmable thermostat.
3. Switch to Duplex printing
Set up your office printers so that you can print on both sides of the page. In theory this could half your paper costs.
Green Fact - Two trees can be saved for every ream of paper that is saved through double sided printing.
Green Fact – Each person in the UK uses 250kg of paper .Recycling 1 tonne of paper can save approximately six mature trees, 3.3 cubic yard of rapidly diminishing landfill space, 380 gallons of oil and 4,000 kilowatts of energy.
4. RECYCLE RECYCLE RECYCLE!!
Yes I’ve mentioned it three times as this one is pretty important. Paper, card and plastics can account for up to 80% of small and medium sized businesses waste. By recycling them locally you can reduce costs paid to outside waste contractors, reduce landfill and support other local environmental activities.
You can also recycle you ink and toner cartridges and get paid for doing so by sending them to one of the many compatible cartridge remanufacturers in the UK. Alternatively many charities will accept your empty toners as they can then sell them to the remanufacturers.
5. Leave the car at home
Cars are the biggest single contributor to CO2 levels in the UK. Transport in general accounts for 23% of UK CO2 emissions. By using a different means of getting to work just once a week you could not only reduce your CO2 levels but also save money on fuel.
6. Buy energy efficient office machines
Save energy and fight global warming with Energy Star qualified products. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment. To learn more about Energy Star products visit the website.
7. Change your Bulbs
Light exit signs with lower energy bulbs like compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs), neon lighting or electroluminescent lighting technology. Replace old fluorescent lighting fixtures using T-12 lamps with T-8 fluorescent lamps for better colour, less flickering and 20 percent less energy use.
Green Fact - During its life span, a fluorescent tube will save 640 kWh of electricity compared with the equivalent 100-watt standard bulb. This reduces the production of carbon dioxide by half a ton and sulphur dioxide, which causes acid rain, by 3 kg.
Green Fact - Lights account for about 30% of the running costs of most businesses.
8. Buy Green
When you purchase goods and services put your environmental hat on and consider how items were produced, what they are made from and even how far they were shipped before they reached you. In terms of Office Supplies there is a huge range of ‘Green’ products available including Paper, Printer Supplies and Desk Accessories. Office Allsorts supply over 2,400 ‘Green’ products at hugely discounted prices, to view our product range Click Here.
Green Fact - According to the environmental charity Waste Watch, for every tonne (about 2 pallets) of 100% post-consumer recycled paper purchased instead of virgin fibre paper, we save:
* At least 30,000 litres of water.
* 3000 - 4000 KWh electricity - enough power for an average 3 bedroom house for one year.
* 40% of the world's industrial logging goes into making paper and this is expected to reach 50% in the near future.
* Worldwide, the pulp and paper industry is the 5th largest industrial consumer of energy. Producing recycled paper uses up to 70% less energy than virgin paper*, as well as using far less water.
*Source Friends of the Earth and Envirowise