REDUCING YOUR IMPACT
FROM QUICK WINS TO LONG TERM GOALS
Having calculated your carbon usage, you will have an idea of what your biggest areas of impact are. Now you can consider ways to minimise this impact. Some of these may be easy quick wins, and others more strategic long term goals, and all will be specific to you and your business. But here are some ideas to get you started.
Whether you/your organisation work from home or from an office (or both), the building(s) you work in have an environmental impact, mostly through the energy they use. Here are some things you can think about when considering how to reduce this impact:
If you work from home or in a small office, check that the heating system is running efficiently. There is guidance on how to do this here.
Consider switching to a 100% renewable energy supplier. There are many energy companies that offer green tariffs – however only Good Energy and Ecotricity guarantee to match the energy demand of their customers by purchasing electricity solely from renewable suppliers.
(source: Friends of the Earth)
Is your workspace a comfortable place to work? Monitor how often it gets too hot or too cold, and if there is a good level of natural light. Often an uncomfortable office is less energy efficient, so consider how it could potentially be improved in the long term, or maybe consider alternative spaces.
The energy used by IT systems, both in the office and in the cloud, has a big impact too. Here are some things you can think about when considering how to reduce this impact:
Consider buying refurbished equipment rather than new. As well as saving you money, this will save raw materials and reduce your footprint through embodied carbon (the CO2 emitted to create something new). There are many sites such as this one that offer refurbished equipment, and some manufacturers such as Apple offer refurbished stock too.
Not sure which cloud provider to use for storage? The good news is that Microsoft, Google and Dropbox have similarly ambitious net-zero targets, so using OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox is a good long-term solution.
Set your default search engine to Ecosia, which plants trees every time you make a search.
If you use time-tracking software then consider Nikabot, which plants trees when used, and integrates with both Slack and Teams.
Commuting and business travel, particularly by private car and by air, has a big impact too. Here are some things you can think about when considering how to reduce this impact:
If travelling overseas, is there an option to travel by rail rather than flying? The carbon impact of travelling by rail is between 50-90% lower than flying depending on the journey and type of train. Can you offer extra holiday days to employees who take the time to travel by rail rather than fly?
Does your business encourage active travel? Do you have a cycle-to-work scheme in place? Offering secure bicycle storage and shower facilities can encourage employees to cycle to work.
Can you offer a hybrid model of working that means that there is less commuting taking place? Facilitating remote working can reduce the frequency of travel to and from a main office.
For more ideas of quick wins and long-term strategies to reduce your impact, read our full report.
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We know the journey to net zero can be daunting, and not everyone has the resources in-house to follow these steps. But you don't have to do it alone. If you'd like more support on your sustainability journey, our team can work with you to provide advice, calculate your footprint for you, and create a roadmap specific to you and your business. To find out how we can help you, get in touch.