Eight simple ways to reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint
With COP26 underway, the Government publishing its ‘Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener’, and all eyes focused on how we will achieve net zero, businesses will play a large part in reaching the targets.
When you start on your net zero journey, your first step should be creating an environmental strategy and aligning your net zero targets with the strategy. You need to ensure synergy between your strategy, goals, organisation and supply chain in order to be successful. In this post, we suggest eight simple changes you could include in your strategy to reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint and how to embed them within your organisation and service contracts.
#1 Can your energy suppliers help you provide carbon neutral modes of transport
Reducing the amount of petrol and diesel cars on the road will play a big part in achieving net zero, therefore one way to become more sustainable is implementing carbon neutral modes of transport. If you offer company cars, make the switch to electric vehicles from now, rather than waiting until the 2030 and 2035 final deadlines. You should also speak to your energy supplier about providing charging stations in your carparks. Alternatively, you could promote a cycle to work scheme, why not broker a deal with a nearby bike shop to provide discounts for staff purchasing their bikes.
#2 Talk to your waste management providers to review your recycling schemes
Landfill rubbish contributes to a large amount of pollution in the atmosphere, however managing waste responsibly will result in less rubbish in landfills, reducing your carbon footprint. Meet with your suppliers to review the ways you are managing waste, and make sure you place enough recycling and compost bins around the office, kitchens and breakout areas that are clearly labelled with what can be put in each one.
#3 Collaborate with catering suppliers to decrease the carbon footprint of your provision
Catering contracts produce a large amount of carbon; from the food you serve, to how it is transported, and the way waste is managed. To reduce the footprint of your service, speak to your suppliers to ensure the food provided has been sustainably sourced; for example, opting for local suppliers, serving seasonal produce and introducing meat and dairy free days. Next discuss what happens with leftover food each day; rather than disposing of it, it can be repackaged and sent to local food banks or sold via sustainable food apps.
#4 Ask your building maintenance team to install LED lighting
Firstly, LED lighting is more energy efficient and comes with a lower price tag, but there are numerous other advantages to using it too. LED has a longer lifespan compared to traditional light bulbs, it provides better quality lighting and also uses less heat. Additionally, you can have each light fixture on a motion sensor, so they turn off automatically if an area is unoccupied.
#5 Procure sustainable furniture and office supplies
If you are planning to refurbish your office space, don’t simply throw away what you currently have as it can be recycled and re-sold. You don’t necessarily need to buy brand new furniture either, look at suppliers that provide second-hand and upcycled products. Second-hand doesn’t mean lower quality, but it does mean lower prices and carbon emissions. Furthermore, you can also opt for sustainable office supplies such as recycled printer paper and notebooks, eco-friendly pens or biodegradable packaging.
#6 Embed your strategy into your organisation and influence colleagues
Behavioural changes will play a big part in achieving your goals, therefore it’s really vital to embed your targets across your organisation. Small changes such as turning off lights and screens, unplugging appliances that are not in use, or turning off the heating rather than opening windows, can have a huge effect on the amount of energy wastage. Place signs around the office to remind your colleagues to take these small actions.
It is important to collaborate with colleagues to influence changes within your organisation. Set up a steering group to share ideas and best practices, the group should be formed of people across the organisation, from board members, SLT, employees and your supply chain. This will help to engage and implement your sustainability agenda, making sure it is weaved across your organisation.
#7 Align your sustainability targets with all future procurements
To help reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint and achieve your environmental strategy, have sustainability at the front of your mind when tendering for a new service. Suppliers will play a role in helping you achieve your targets; including the right questions in your specification will enable suppliers to embed your targets into the new contract.
#8 Start reporting your energy consumption
By having visibility of your energy usage, you’ll be able to track the success of your sustainability measures and carbon reduction. You’ll see which initiatives have the biggest return on investment, reduces the cost of your energy bills and lowers your organisation’s emissions.
Do you know your current carbon footprint? There are many carbon footprint calculators online that can give you an indication of your current footprint and find ways to help you reduce it. The first step to achieving your goals is setting informed targets, try using this calculator to start your journey. You can also find out your personal carbon footprint here.
If you would like to find out more information about net zero, our 10-phase journey to achieving net zero visions efficiently and effectively, or how to implement sustainable solutions in your next FM contract please email us at email@example.com.