Green your IT – save electricity, save money
Don’t replace your IT if it doesn’t need replacing but if it is due for renewal then look to change to cloud computing. Whilst data centres use a lot of electricity they usually source some of it from renewable sources and one data centre is more energy efficient than lots of individual servers.
For IT equipment in the office, use power down plugs for all your scanners, printers and screens. If it’s feasible remember tablets are more efficient than laptops, laptops are more efficient than desktops. Some chargers left plugged in but not charging still use energy, as a rule of thumb if it gets hot – unplug it when not in use.
Green your transport – save fuel, save money
Again don’t replace your vehicles if they don’t need replacing, there is a lot of embedded energy and resources in new vehicles. If your vehicles have come to the end of their economically viable life can you look to use smaller, more fuel efficient cars? Can you use electric cars or hybrids? Can you encourage some of your staff to car share? Can some of them cycle to work? Example an efficient driving style and make sure all your staff know how to drive and do drive the same way.
If your vehicles are very old replacing them with more fuel efficient and reliable models may in the long run save you money.
If you are running a fleet of HGVs could you consider models that use Adblue, improving fuel efficiency and emissions?
Waste and recycling
You are charged per tonne of waste that goes to landfill (a contributor to climate change), by your waste contractor or local authority if they collect your waste. Alternatively, the waste is incinerated (in the UK or overseas). By recycling and not throwing away, valuable resources can be reclaimed. Most waste contractors and local authorities will charge less for collecting recycling than mixed waste, meaning you save money. Land can continue be used for recreation or agriculture instead of for landfill, which can be a source of water and air pollution. Clean-up costs for the pollution you pay for via your water bill, additional costs can arise to the NHS due to ill health and insurance costs due to extreme weather events caused by climate change.
Any large items such as desks or chairs – can be repaired, reused or repurposed, many local charity shops will collect these from you for free.
Green your procurement – save money by not buying it in the first place
Buying locally helps the local economy and your community. Things made and bought locally have less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and don’t necessarily have to be more expensive. When you can buy second hand or buy products made from recycled material, this creates a market for the stuff that is put in your recycling and reprocessed. Importantly don’t buy things for the sake of it, everything has embedded energy and precious resources that need to be conserved for the things we really need. Food is especially energy and resource intensive, do you really need that extra bag of fruit that you will not eat and then throw away? Do you really need that box of biscuits calling to you every time you make a cuppa?
Green your office – save money turning stuff off/down
Look around your premises at times when no one is around, what things are still running that don’t need to be? If you have a smart meter your electricity company can provide a graph of your electricity use. This will highlight what is going on when you’re not there. If you don’t have a smart meter buy a pseudo smart meter which will give you an idea of what appliances are using the most electricity. Look at lighting, are you illuminating areas that are not used e.g. tops of cupboards, label switches so these are not turned on or take the bulbs out?
Your biggest bill will be heating/air conditioning. Large savings can be made by simply turning thermostats down and reducing the number of hours heating/air conditioning. If your heating is on a timer, when does it turn on and off? Be aware of seasonal changes, is your heating and hot water operating on winter settings through the summer? Finally get your staff to dress appropriately do not turn the heating up because they feel cold but are wearing a T shirt! Get staff to wear layers, this gets round the problem of women and men feeling temperature differently; the women can add layers, the men can take them off.
If you need any advice on how to make your business greener or would like a carbon footprint report to explain activity in this area to staff, stakeholders or your supply chain, see our website www.crediblygreen.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01746 552423.