How can businesses combat climate change?

28 Oct 2019

Climate change is proving to be a hot topic, with countries around the world witnessing thousands-strong demonstrations and protests. Businesses are being urged to do their bit to help mitigate the effects of man-made climate change. Here, we consider ways in which firms can help to reduce their carbon footprint.

A recent survey carried out by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) suggested that business leaders are committed to combating climate change. It revealed that nine out of ten directors think that business leaders need to act now to combat climate change.

A range of practical steps exist for businesses to take in order to help protect the environment. We consider a handful of these below.

Increase awareness

Business leaders are encouraged to educate their employees on the environmental impact of their behaviour, and provide them with simple steps that can be taken to reduce their ecological footprints.

Reduce and recycle

All businesses can make an effort to reduce the volume of waste they produce. Waste reduction makes good business sense, helping to minimise the costs associated with purchasing and disposal. Banning plastic water bottles, promoting a paperless office and utilising recycling bins are other ways in which firms can make a positive impact.

Eliminate plastic

Water bottles aside, firms are encouraged to consider their use of plastic packaging. Using plastic will only become more costly in terms of both cash and reputation, as the general public becomes more aware of environmental issues.

Improve energy efficiency

Firms should try to cut down on their use of fossil fuels. This can be achieved by changing energy supplier or by considering renewable options. Ensure computer screens and machinery are switched off when not in use to reduce energy usage. Additionally, the installation of smart thermostats and LED light bulbs has the potential to save businesses significant sums of money.

Keep travel to a minimum

Help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road by working from home, encouraging carpooling and subsidising public transport. Employers should also consider installing a bike rack for their employees to utilise.

Doing your bit to help

The government recently stated that the average small firm could reduce its energy bill by 18-25% by installing energy efficiency measures. By using energy efficient measures, businesses can take control of their energy usage, reduce avoidable loss and cut their energy bills.

Firms may well be forced to change how they behave through a combination of consumer preferences and the implementation of future regulations. However, taking positive steps now will help to minimise businesses' carbon footprints.

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