Being able to demonstrate your eco-friendly credentials is increasingly important for both large and small businesses.
Two main benefits of this are, first that consumers want to know they are placing their trust in companies who take green issues seriously.
Second, reducing your reliance on natural resources, such as energy and water, will also reduce your utility bills and you could also claim tax relief on the purchase of new energy efficient equipment.
However, these two issues aside, there are plenty more benefits to making your office green and here we examine three key areas.
Conforming to Environmental Legislation
The UK government, local authorities and regulatory bodies within Europe take issues of the environment and concerns over pollution and global warming seriously. In line with this, there is an ever increasing set of regulations which need to be adhered to by business. Every industry is different and only some regulations will apply to your business, but it is worth taking a look at this guide to environmental legislation to see what changes you need to implement.
Even an office environment will need to conform to legislation concerning air conditioning, WEEE regulations and recycling, amongst others. Therefore, it’s vital to not become complacent and to keep up with changes in this ever evolving landscape.
Creating a Better Environment for Staff
Some green changes you implement within your office environment will have a direct effect on the comfort of your staff. Employees often spend over eight hours a day cooped up indoors and therefore it’s important to keep the air fresh and clean and to maintain an ambient temperature.
An air curtain is an innovation which offers the best of both worlds in this respect as it creates a barrier between the indoor and outdoor climate. First, this is a way to reduce your heating and cooling bills, as it is easier to maintain a more constant temperature if hot and cold air is not continually being lost through the doors.
Second, the barrier created by the air curtain also keeps out a large percentage of pollen and other allergens and therefore helps to keep the air inside the building cleaner. If you have staff members who suffer from hay fever and other allergies this can be a way to reduce their symptoms. This lowers the number of days people need to take off sick and therefore offers a huge boost to productivity.
Reducing Carbon Footprint
The aim of any business when it comes to green issues should be to lower their overall carbon footprint and the government in fact requires that companies should measure and report their environmental impact.
This is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and it covers a whole range of green issues which need to be taken into account. The first step is to record your current carbon footprint so you can then measure the effectiveness of the changes you implement.
- Consider your use of natural resources including energy and water and how this can be reduced. Energy and water efficient equipment; low energy light bulbs; switching off everything rather than leaving it in standby; and good insulation of the building can all play a part.
- Measure your company’s fuel consumption, not just for fleet vehicles, but also in the way employees commute to work. Encourage staff to car pool, to travel by public transport or to cycle to work. Tax relief on the latter can be offered to staff by the Cycle to Work scheme. Giving staff the ability to work from home for at least one day a week can also drastically reduce your carbon figure in this area.
- Look at your waste management, which includes lessening the amount of waste that is produced and then recycling anything which needs to be thrown away. In line with this many companies now aspire to be paperless and to only use recycled paper sources where necessary.
Once you have a taste for improving your business’s green credentials youfind that there are improvements you can continually make. Don’t be afraid to include details of anything you implement into your marketing materials and your annual report, both your shareholders and your clients will be pleased to know they are working with an environmentally aware business.
Helen Wallis, the author of this article, is a keen blogger with a passion for
everything green. By sharing her thoughts and experiences, she hopes
to make the world a more beautiful place for everyone.
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