As we become more aware of the consequences of climate change, it has become increasingly important for companies to take responsibility and ensure that they are not contributing to the damaging of our environment. Sometimes adding new procedures within an office can seem like a pain, but if guidelines are clear and staff are educated as to the reasons behind the new rules, then the implementation can actually be really simple. To get you started, here are 5 ways that your company can reduce its carbon footprint.
1. If possible, hold a conference call instead of travelling to a meeting. Technology has progressed now to a level where through conference calling, video calling and online presentations, you can easily arrange for multiple parties to sit around a virtual table. This is far more environmentally sound than having people travel from diverse national or even international locations to meet for a couple of hours.
2. If travelling to a meeting is unavoidable, try and group meetings in similar locations within one day, to reduce the overall amount of travel needed. Also make sure to car pool wherever possible rather than using multiple vehicles to travel separately from similar locations. Ensure that company cars are environmentally sound. You can also invest in eco-driving lessons for your staff which will teach them to drive in the most fuel-efficient way possible.
3. Reduce the use of paper in your office. Encourage staff to only print documents when absolutely necessary (adding this to your email signature can be a handy reminder). E-signing software allows you to email proposals, invoices and contracts to clients so that they can virtually and securely sign them, which vastly reduces the need for printed contracts.
4. Ensure that all electrical devices are turned off after staff leave at night. Computers are the main culprits here. Make sure that monitors are set to energy saving mode so that they automatically switch off following a few minutes of inactivity. Don’t leave mobile devices plugged into the mains once they have finished charging – they still sap energy even when they no longer need it! Also available are motion detecting lights for corridors and rooms that are used intermittently throughout the day, only lighting up when they sense the presence of your staff.
5. Recycle. Place separate, clearly labelled bins around the office for recycling different materials. There should be a paper recycling bin next to every printer, shredder and photocopying machine. People are unlikely to go through their bins separating rubbish, but if they have been able to separate as they throw away then it makes it just as easy as having one bin! If your company has a canteen or kitchen perhaps consider a compost bin too.
Following these tips is just the start – talk to your employees about your company environmental policies and make sure that they are instilled within company culture. Not only will cutting your carbon footprint reduce the environmental damage that your company is doing, but it can also save your company money.