How Can I Improve my Business Carbon Footprint?

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Make your business eco friendlyReducing your carbon footprint is another way of saving energy. The energy you use in the workplace is often linked to carbon dioxide production, so lowering the amount of energy you use or waste will invariably save you money. Here are a few reasons why you should reduce your carbon footprint and a few hints at how to do it.

Going green saves money in the long run.

Your carbon footprint is often tied to how much energy you are using, and energy costs money. If you set out to lower your carbon footprint then you are going to notice a reduction in costs (at least in the long run). Selling your fleet of luxury cars and buying your staff monthly train savers is going to save you thousands of pounds. Saving energy in the office and workplace is going to save you even more, especially since power and fuel are now at their highest prices ever.

Market yourself as a green company.

You would be surprised at how many people have actually become passive moral shoppers.

These are not people who go on marches, sign petitions or wear the same clothes for a week to save the world. These are the people who will not buy any beef product from Brazil, or caged hen eggs, or coffee that is not 100% forest alliance certified. If you have reduced your carbon footprint or have gone green, then tell people.

The biggest mistake some companies make is to go ethical or go green and then not tell people. There is a brand of mayonnaise that started using free range eggs but didn’t bother to write it on the mayonnaise containers. Their sales increased by more than 20% in the UK when some genius decided to write it on the front of the container.

Wall and roof insulation.

It is cheaper than ever to have your walls and roof insulated, and it works both ways. It helps to keep the heat out during summer and the heat in during winter. It will save you a lot of money on your heating and air-conditioning, as will double glazing windows.

Solar panels.

They may be expensive to purchase, but can be used for the long-term benefit of your business. Use them to power something that is non-essential such as the heating or air conditioning. These are non-essential because if they break down then your business does not grind to a halt. Install large batteries so that you can save up the energy for days when it is exceedingly hot or cold. The investment is quite steep to start with, but it pays for itself within a few years.

Wikipedia Solar Panel page – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panels

Consider using remote virtualization.

Instead of running a big computer system in your own office and having to pay for the running of the system, you can use virtualization. All of your office software is uploaded onto big servers and you may use a computer interface to communicate with them. All of the processing is done on other servers that are also used by different people (for different reasons). Instead of each company having its own computer system/network/server, they use bigger ones remotely. This saves energy as the bigger computers take less power than lots of smaller ones in offices.

Virtualisation allows you to use your computers as if they are highly advanced machines, but all the processing is done in one big computer centre (or data centre). This saves energy on the whole, and saves you having to power and maintain your own network of computers/servers, etc.

Consider using cloud technology.

The principle is very similar to virtualisation. Instead of having servers in your office, you save your data on remote servers. This means that you do not have to pay for and power your own servers. It saves energy on the whole too, as the bigger servers are used more efficiently because they are used by lots of people instead of just as-and-when.

There are many Green IT Consultants in UK and the US that can assist with implementing Green computer technology. Google is your best bet to find a specialist in your area.

Use eco-friendly lighting.

There are strip lights that use far less energy than bulbs and last as much as ten times longer. Lighting is one of the few areas where you are able to become unequivocally greener. This is especially good in offices and businesses where it is unwise to scrimp when it comes to lighting. Eco-friendly lighting is also cheaper than other forms of lighting in most cases.

See this handy guide for choosing eco friendly lights – http://www.gelighting.com/LightingWeb/emea/resources/environmental-center/choosing-eco-friendly-lights.jsp

Introduce new business practices.

It is possible to make your staff more energy efficient. You can even write energy saving protocols into your staff’s written contract so that they may be formally disciplined for wasting energy. You may install devices that check on the driving skills of your staff. They tell you if your staff are accelerating too quickly, breaking too hard or over steering on corners. All of these things waste energy and you can put a stop to it.

There are also things such as forcing your staff to turn off their electronics when they are done with them, or to not leave the motors running when they are in the garage.

David is an Eco-friendly IT Expert that enjoys blogging in his spare time.

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2 Comments

  1. There are a lot of valid points on this article. We have implemented a lot of the above and over the course of 12 months we have saved a four figure sum on energy costs alone.

  2. Great article Brenda.

    In tough financial times, it amazes me how many business owners overlook basic factors that can help to save them money. Changes of habbit and technology can make all the difference and you don’t have to spend money to save money.