As Chief Operating Officer at Blue Marble, I often encounter business owners who have concerns about the cost of reducing their corporate carbon-footprint. Yet significant strides on the journey to net zero can be achieved by implementing a few simple, low-cost – and even cost-neutral – changes.
1. Avoid sending business waste to landfill
Commercial and industrial waste that goes to landfill has a footprint 21 times higher than waste that’s recycled or energy recovered. Find a local waste contractor with a Zero to Landfill policy.
2. Use suppliers with a quantifiable carbon footprint
Using suppliers who know their carbon footprint will better enable you to calculate your own carbon footprint. This will, in turn, help you attract customers on their own net-zero journey.
3. Replace flushing urinals with waterless valves
Urinals are flushed regularly with clean drinking water, even if they haven’t been used. A urinal with a hygienic waterless valve needs less maintenance and can save 52,000 litres of water a year.
4. Help employees reduce their carbon footprint
By offering a Cycle to Work Scheme and by providing showers, your business could encourage employees to lower the carbon footprint of their journeys to and from work.
5. Adopt alternatives to air-freight shipping
Shipment by air produces 87 times more greenhouse gases than sending goods the same distance using ‘roll on-roll off’ ships. Where possible, transport goods by land and sea, and only air freight urgent cargo.
6. Scrutinise your business travel
Reducing air miles isn’t the only way to make a difference: a hotel’s location and infrastructure can affect its carbon footprint. Emissions from a hotel in the Maldives can be 28 times higher than an equivalent in France.
7. Switch to motion-sensor interior lighting
Installing passive infra-red sensors on internal lighting means you don’t need to rely on people turning off lights in unused areas, and thereby reduce energy consumption and bills.
8. Maximise bright decor and passive illumination
Painting internal walls white and floors grey will enhance the effect of existing lighting. Improving access to natural daylight also helps reduce reliance on artificial lighting.
9. Utilise remote energy-monitoring systems
These systems are easy to instal and provide valuable insights into your business’s power consumption, helping you save money by identifying wasted energy and improving efficiency.
10. Install a renewable-energy solution
Funding is available for many businesses with their own premises, so capital outlay for installing renewable energy solutions such as solar panels, wind turbines and heat pumps could be minimal.