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How can businesses improve their carbon footprint


From large to small businesses, over the past decade attitudes to the environment and a company’s impact on it have changed dramatically. Your environmental impact is every bit as important as sales, so how do you improve it?

Consumers want to choose companies that care about their carbon footprint, it reflects the values of a business. Furthermore, reducing your carbon footprint will not only impress your customers but save you money – it’s a win-win.

Recycling and using reusable or refillable cups and bottles are easy steps. If you’re wondering what more you can do, don’t worry, eCo2 Greetings is here to help. We’ve outlined some actionable steps to reduce your carbon footprint.

Read on to find out how businesses can improve their carbon footprint…

What is a carbon footprint?

Typically, a carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions directly or indirectly caused by an individual, event, product or organization, such as your business.

This can include anything that causes the burning of fossil fuels, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions. Examples would be driving to work, energy to power or heat your business – where it comes from – and waste disposal.

Cut travel emissions

Modern transportation and commutes to work are among the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, so reducing emissions from business travel can minimize carbon footprint.

Learn more about eCo2 Greetings’ environmental mission

If you can, encourage your employees to bike to work by providing a space for them to change and shower or take public transport. If your staff have to drive, consider implementing carpooling among colleagues.

Of course, the best way to reduce travel emissions is to not travel at all. Consider allowing employees to work on a flexible basis, such as half the week in the office and half from home to cut commuter emissions. Whenever possible, hold virtual meetings with clients rather than driving.

Work from home

When you have a traditional office environment, think of the things you and your employees do that may leave a carbon footprint. The daily commute is one but so are using air conditioners, leaving appliances running and plugged in and non-energy efficient lighting.

The answer to many of these issues is to go remote. Remote working is on the rise, particularly in the creative and marketing industry, as businesses realise that remote working is better for the environment and their bottom line. Mental health of staff is another benefit, cutting the stress of travel and allowing for flexible start times.

If going fully remote isn’t feasible, starting small is key for environmental tips, and small steps combine to make a big improvement.

A Paperless Office

The majority of business waste is composed of paper, so reducing the amount of paper you use at your company is an easy place to start.

Technology has made it easy to store documents – even with e-versions or scanned documents – so there’s no need to be keeping paper records. Email is one such step, there aren’t many businesses that don’t use this technology of regular mail, and it’s not difficult to replace your other paper processes.

With online programs such as Google Docs and Dropbox, you can securely store all of your company’s documents – from contracts to employee handbooks. An added bonus with these tools is that your staff can access the documents whenever they need to, wherever they are. For added security, you can have external hard drives to safeguard important documents and work done by staff.

Read more about our incredible eCards – Premium and for Christmas

Online forms

With an online form builder or host service, you can also replace and streamline a number of paper processes, such as job application forms.

BambooHR is one example of online job application forms widely used. Other examples of an online form builder would be donation forms, contact forms, surveys and even contracts. All of these online forms are stored in an easy-to-access location for staff, meaning no need for printing. Moving your traditional paper documents online will help reduce your carbon footprint and take steps to organise your business.

Be Efficient

Efficiency can apply to various areas of a business but in this instance, it’s your lighting and heating that needs to be optimised to reduce your carbon footprint.

This step involves tackling wasteful behaviours and investing in technology upgrades. Simple things and small changes in behaviour, such as switching off appliances that aren’t in use and using energy-efficient LED lightbulbs.

Lighting

Changing the lighting across your business to more energy-efficient LED options can make a big difference with long-lasting effects. Wherever you can, ensure that natural light is used as it saves energy and has been found to have health benefits – even reducing stress compared to artificial light.

Using a film on windows, especially in warm summer months, helps reduce glare and excessive heat – negating the need for air conditioning. Technology, such as motion sensors, can be used to ensure lights are switched off if rooms are not in use. Dimmable lights can also reduce electricity costs by making sure lights aren’t at their brightest when not required.

Heating

Implement temperature controls that will ensure your heating and air conditioning is timed correctly and in line with outside air temperatures. This can minimise overheating or cooling, which is extremely wasteful. You can also train staff to avoid swings in temperature. Make sure your boiler is regularly serviced so it’s operating as efficiently as possible.

Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy may be beyond the reach of businesses but by switching to cleaner energy providers, you can reduce your environmental impact. Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t need to be overly complicated – look for providers that offer renewable energy solutions and are easy to transfer to.

E-Recycling

You are likely already recycling, but what about your older electronic equipment? Businesses tend to just throw outdated phones, computers or printers in the bin.

Learn more about eCards and their impact compared to paper cards

Doing this, however, is not environmentally friendly. You need to decide if you really need or can afford the newest and latest technology. Decide whether your current technology could work for you for a little longer. If you do still have electronic waste, it needs to be recycled in a proper manner.

The majority of electronic waste generated around the world is from small electronic equipment – phones and computers. Unfortunately, much of the waste is shipped to developing countries where it’s shredded, burned and dismantled. It all produces emissions that are very harmful to the environment. So, search online for the nearest electronic recycling centre or services online you can send your waste to for proper recycling.

So, as you can see, there are small steps you can take that will make a big difference to your company’s carbon footprint. One of which is to send eCards this festive season and do away with the wasted paper and card.

Learn more about festive eCards with eCo2 Greetings and how to reduce your environmental impact.

Learn more about what you can do to protect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint with our eCo2 Greetings blog.

Contact us today to discover how we can help your business.

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Canon
AT&T
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