Going green… and making savings for your business
Small businesses are often deterred from making changes to become more environmentally friendly because of the perceived costs involved. However, implementing relatively small changes to your business processes can often result in a significant increase in energy efficiency, benefiting both the environment and the bottom line.
Consider these top energy‑saving tips:
✔ Check your current energy usage – Monitoring your energy usage and keeping a record of where your biggest costs lie will enable you to make necessary improvements. Servicing your boiler could make immediate energy savings of as much as 10%!
✔ Get everybody involved – Employee engagement is paramount to cutting energy consumption. Draw up an environmental policy and make sure all staff are aware of their energy usage. Assign responsibilities to staff to ensure the policy is taken seriously.
✔ Last out? Turn the lights out! – With three quarters of SME employees working beyond their normal hours, overtime is a significant contributing factor to higher energy costs. Make sure that the last person to leave the office is responsible for turning off costly appliances before they leave.
✔ Waste not – Make recycling easier by placing appropriate bins near the source of the waste. For instance, put paper recycling bins next to photocopiers and printers. Take away individual bins and replace them with communal recycling bins.
✔ The small things – Making slight modifications to your business premises can have a big impact on energy usage. For instance, fitting a variable flush or siphon mechanism in the bathroom can save up to four litres of water per flush, at a cost of around £20. Energy efficient light bulbs are fast becoming the norm, saving up to 50% of energy immediately, and lasting ten times longer than a normal light bulb.
✔ Get your timing right – Installing motion detector lighting in areas that are not used regularly, and setting computers, heating and other electrical equipment on a timer, can eliminate unnecessary costs.
✔ Remote control? – By offering remote access to systems, cloud computing could reduce the number of computers and other hardware that is run and maintained in‑house, while also minimising the need for related support staff.
In today’s challenging economic climate, and with energy costs continuing to spiral, there are strong environmental and economic reasons to review your energy efficiency. In addition, adopting a positive approach to environmental issues can boost staff morale and improve your business reputation. As well as the savings in running costs, you could benefit from new business opportunities as a result of making your business greener.