Ideas Bank for Businesses

In uncertain times it can be difficult to make changes to your business, but we hope that there is something here for you whatever type or size of your organisation and that you can save money in the process. If you are an employee why not see what is being doing at your place of work and encourage change where possible.

Energy

Move to 100% renewable electricity and gas
Change to LED light bulbs
Turn off lights and appliances when not in use
Install electronic switches so lights only come on when the room is on use
If comfortable for your staff, reduce the thermostat for heating and hot water by 1 or 2 degrees
When equipment needs replacing look review energy efficiency and the ability for it to be repaired
Ensure the workspace is insulated

Transport

Review whether you need to travel to meetings or if they could be done by phone or online
Travel by train if possible but if flights are necessary, avoid using business or first class
Offset flights by investing in renewable energy projects or protecting and planting new forests
Review the road fleet, moving to electric and/or hybrid and ensure drivers are trained to maximise renewable aspects

Staff

Offer more flexible working arrangements such as working from home for a day, longer but less days, more time to travel by train etc
Ensure all staff are trained on reducing carbon emissions and waste, with clear explanations of why it is important
Designate a member of staff as a waste champion
Offer staff incentives to reduce waste such as competitions
If staff are customer facing, encourage them to promote low waste, zero carbon ideas to customers
Encourage/Incentivise staff to travel to work by a sustainable method

Food and Drink

Ensure there are adequate water refill stations and encourage staff to use them
Ensure that there are adequate hot drink making facilities to reduce the need to buy disposal cups
Avoid individual sachets of milk, sugar etc but take care not to create food waste
If drinks are purchased outside the workplace encourage staff to have reusable cups
Ensure there are adequate fridges and encourage staff to bring their own lunches
Encourage vegetarian and vegan options if you have a staff canteen
Ensure menu options make best use of leftovers.
Minimise and recycle food waste

Materials

Consider the materials being used – could they be sourced second hand or recycled
Could materials be more sustainable: re-usable, natural materials
Buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging
Use shredded paper as packing materials for parcels
Avoid using bubble wrap and polystyrene which are not currently recycled

Administration

Avoid using single use stationary items such as disposable pens and pencils
Avoid printing unless absolutely necessary and use double sided functions
Use draft settings where possible to reduce ink usage
Use refillable ink cartridges or recycle the old ones
Ditch sticky notes. They are not recyclable.
Use scrap paper held together with a clip instead
Unsubscribe from junk mail
Update mailing lists to prevent sending paper mailings to out-of-date or duplicate addresses

Waste

Remove under desk bins and instead have well-labelled separate bins for each type of recycling including food waste
Re-use envelopes and packaging from parcels
Ensure e-waste is limited and is recycled properly
Check with your waste collector, what happens to all waste streams

General

Write a sustainability statement to ensure measures are embedded in the business and ensure staff are fully engaged
Run a waste and low carbon awareness day
Communicate with other businesses through business groups to share best practice
Measure your carbon footprint (organisations such as the Carbon Trust helping companies to become carbon-neutral)
Help customers reduce their environmental impact
Audit your supply chain – On average, emissions from a company’s supply chain are 5.5 times higher than emissions by the company itself, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Global Supply Chain Report 2019

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