Some surveys suggest that the UKs SMEs are deterred by the cost of going green. The Government may indeed need to do more to help the countrys small firms to go green by providing, for instance, government grants for renewable energy, but to suggest that it cost British firms over £3 billion to go green last year its no wonder many small businesses might be put off.
The reality is that some small initial steps toward greening your business will not cost your business a single penny. These green business tips may not be applicable for every small firm but its worth taking a look, as saving energy equates to saving money and saving money adds to the profitability of your business.
Whilst modern lighting can be very energy efficient its cheaper not to have lights on at all. So wherever possible, switch off the light, and make sure your staff know to do the same.
Make use of natural light wherever possible; keep blinds open, make sure windows are clean and try and remove any obstacles that prevent your premises being naturally lit.
A computer on standby still uses electricity, small as that amount of energy use may be, it all adds up. Switch off monitors, unplug any power packs, chargers etc. and switch off at the socket if possible or simply unplug.
If youre heating your premises in cold periods then turn the thermostat down a notch. Weve become so used to having tropical temperature workplaces that its no wonder the heating bill has gone up, so encourage staff to close drafty windows and doors and wear another layer of clothing if needs be.
Conversely, keeping cool is more economical if you simply open the windows when the weather is warmer air conditioning is costly and uses huge amounts of energy and yet opening the windows is good to get fresh air and allowing air to circulate.
For those companies that use vehicles, it might be time to drive a little more effectively. Hard accelerating and braking waste petrol so drive smoothly; Cruising saves fuel and you get to your destination less stressed.
Make sure your tires inflated to the correct pressure; an incorrectly inflated tyre will reduce your mileage per gallon.
Reducing vehicle usage, encouraging car-sharing and walking will also cut your costs.
Firstly, think about your office printing needs: do you really have to print off every email or document that gets sent to you, even the first drafts? By keeping documents on your PC you will dramatically cut your paper and ink/toner costs.
If you do have to print documents then consider duplex printing or printing on both sides of the paper. Duplex printing alone will cut your printer paper bill in half.
A dripping tap can waste up to 10,000 litres of water a year, so ensure you turn off the taps. If youre on a meter youll see your water bill reduced.
You can cut down on the amount of water in toilet cisterns by placing a water-filled bottle in there or a bag filled with stones.
Use mugs, cups and glasses in your workplace rather than plastic or polystyrene. This encourages you to reduce and reuse.
Using a centralised bin as part of your plan to reduce & recycle waste encourages staff to think about their waste.
By being a greener business you can promote business best practice to your customers and your suppliers. Genuine action to become an environmentally aware business is worthwhile to your bottom line and to the bottom line of other businesses with whom you are involved and will promote sustainability.
Actively encouraging your staff to take green steps will allow them to take greater responsibility and pride in their work and benefit them out of work too.