How Businesses are Turning Green

Businesses have a duty to introduce green practicesBeing environmentally friendly and reducing carbon footprints is not just the preserve of private individuals, more and more businesses are ‚going green‘ too. Of course, many businesses do so because it is simply ‚the right thing to do,‘ but companies also face pressure from green consumers – the so-called ‚green pound‘. The government is also putting on pressure. From April 2013, all firms listed on the London Stock Exchange will face mandatory carbon reporting. Organisations like the Carbon Trust help companies measure their environmental footprint, advise on how to reduce it and develop low carbon technologies to help achieve these goals. But just what can companies do to be more green and move towards being carbon neutral?

Moving towards carbon neutrality

Reducing environmental impact concerns all companies and not just those who emit pollutants into the atmosphere as part of a production process. A standard office company can make massive changes too. Changing to a green energy tariff is an obvious move along with using energy saving lighting and well insulated offices. But changes needn’t be complex. Using recycled paper and environmentally friendly printer cartridges for example is simple and effective. New technologies can also help. Applications such as webinar software and video conferencing packages can help cut down on business travel and emissions. Where carbon emissions are necessary, these are balanced by carbon offset schemes.

Reducing costs along with emissions

Businesses do need to be profitable, but going green does not necessarily mean increasing costs. Reducing business travel through methods such as those above will actually save money. Low energy light bulbs, lights that switch off when no-one is present and refillable environmentally friendly printer cartridges will also reduce costs. Simple changes in procedures such as using email where possible instead of sending letters (and not printing them!) and printing on both sides of paper will also help. Companies can help their employees cut costs also. Many organisations are introducing telecommuting schemes where employees work from home for at least part of the working week. Clearly the employees save on travel costs as the company saves on its carbon footprint.

Picture: NREY – Fotolia

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