According to statistics, it’s likely that as we near the end of January, only 9% of people will have stuck to their new year’s resolutions, with a staggering one in four failing in the first week of the year!
If you really want your business to become more sustainable in 2023, we’ve outlined some tips that will make your sustainability goals more achievable.
Why focus on sustainability in 2023?
In today’s world, consumers and those in the supply chain are much more sustainability-focused. They expect the organisations that they purchase from to be adopting a sustainable approach and working towards a net-zero target.
Even in markets where there isn’t a customer need for sustainable practices, adopting a more sustainable stance can lead to lower operating costs and overhead expenses, increased bottom-line profits and an enhanced employee experience.
So what steps can your business take in 2023 to become more sustainable?
1 – Understand where you currently are
Any business looking to become more sustainable should start by measuring and understanding their carbon footprint.
The carbon footprint of a company is the total amount of greenhouse gasses (GHG) emitted directly or indirectly through its activities expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). A carbon footprint report identifies how much business operations are contributing to climate change and is the perfect place to develop an action plan from.
So before you start with any actions, it’s best to understand your starting point. This way, any actions you implement you can report on their success/impact.
If you’re a passionate member of a ‘Green Team’ or you’re struggling to get leadership to commit to a carbon footprint, don’t be put off. There are a number of small measures that can be introduced in a business setting. Unfortunately, without a carbon footprint in place, it will be difficult to understand what impact this is having but recognise you are helping the planet by looking at the following three areas, all of which are easy to explore:
Focus on reducing waste and recycling wherever you can
Find out what is recyclable with your waste management service and make sure it is clearly posted on bins so employees know what they can and can’t recycle. Make sure bins are easily accessible and encourage employees to recycle as much as they can.
Along with recycling paper and plastic, it’s also important to not forget about e-waste, including computer parts, mobile phones, and ink cartridges, which can be a pollution risk with toxic chemicals leaking into the ground. Common e-waste items include computer parts, mobile phones, batteries and ink cartridges. Ensure you have proper disposal providers in place and are not disposing in standard waste bins.
Remember that reduction is even better than recycling, so wherever possible review what you are using and wasting and see if alternative methods are available.
Use alternative energy sources
You don’t need to take large steps to get started using alternative energy sources. Contact your energy provider and explore their Green Tariff options. Green tariffs will either match your usage with renewable energy generation or the energy provider will commit to supporting environmental schemes on your behalf (the least preferred option, as it still results in the burning of fossil fuels).
Solar, wind, and geothermal energy sourcing are much easier on the environment than fossil fuels – ask whether your energy can come from these sources.
Encourage behaviours which reduce your energy use
By using less energy, you can save money and limit the effects on the environment.
One way to save on energy is to address the phenomenon known as vampire power, which is when electronics continue using energy even in standby mode. Speak to your workforce about this and request that they unplug devices and chargers when not in use and turn off devices instead of letting them go to standby mode.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure standard light bulbs are replaced with LED ones. These use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer.
As with your electronic devices, turning off lights when not in use is an obvious way to reduce usage. You could also look into the feasibility of installing motion sensors to automatically shut off lights when a room is empty.
As stated at the start of this blog, the most important sustainable resolution a business can make is to undertake a Carbon Footprint as it highlight your highest impact areas and identify the areas you can work on.
If this feels daunting, don’t worry, Groundwork’s Sustainable Business Consultants will work with you to calculate your footprint. Once this benchmark is established we can support you with a comprehensive pathway towards net-zero emissions.
Contact us to speak to a member of the team about getting started.