The challenge to become carbon net-zero may be daunting for those businesses who have not already been working on reducing emissions and introducing more sustainable ways to operate.
What is sustainability?
Sustainability refers to the ability to maintain or support a process continuously over time.
Accordingly, sustainable policies emphasise the future impact of any given policy or business practice on humans, ecosystems, and the wider economy. The concept often corresponds to the belief that without significant changes to the wider environment, our planet will suffer irreparable damage.
Carbon net zero offers an opportunity for success in maintaining a balanced eco-system, advising businesses must not add any more carbon emissions into the atmosphere than they are removing. The government has set a net-zero target for 2050, offering businesses time to make the necessary changes to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and find ways to remove carbon from their business processes.
What are the benefits in adopting a sustainable working approach?
As well as being able to operate more sustainably and deliver a more eco-friendly and environmentally conscious business ethos, there are many other considerable and economic benefits of integrating sustainable solutions into your business, including;
- Improve brand image
Companies acting in a sustainably conscious manner are typically forward-thinking, proactive leaders within their field.
- Attract investment
Investors wish to consider investments in businesses which are considered environmentally sustainable and deliver a proactive approach to meeting carbon net zero targets.
- Encourage savings
Investing in more sustainable energy sources, reducing waste as well as other sustainable practices, creates an opportunity to reduce long-term costs.
- Gain loyal customers
As well as attracting further investment interest and improved brand image, businesses will also benefit from obtaining a more loyal customer base in which appreciates an environmentally sustainable company, aligned to their own values.
- Maximise employee retention
Employees are becoming increasingly conscious about sustainability and the impact businesses are having upon the environment. Because of this, employees will prefer to work at a sustainable business which also acts as a motivator.
If you have not yet developed a plan to meet carbon net zero targets, it is time to give greater focus to energy management and sustainability solutions to deliver future improvements.
How can I begin reducing my business carbon footprint?
The specific ways that your business reduces the most carbon emissions will depend on the way that you operate however, here are some of the areas you should focus on:
Reduce energy use
Good energy management is key to reducing the carbon footprint, with around half of a company’s carbon emissions coming from the energy used. Using energy efficient office equipment, installing energy efficient lighting and careful heating management through winter are all good starting points. Conducting a comprehensive energy consumption audit can help to identify more ways to reduce energy use.
Supply chain efficiency
If your business receives large volumes of supplies and/or uses third-party services, working with a more efficient supply chain model can help to reduce material/product wastage and reduce energy consumption through improved operational efficiency. When choosing suppliers, find sustainable suppliers that align to your own green policies and ethical values.
Businesses generally produce a large amount of waste each week and even recycling causes additional carbon emissions from transportation and the recycling process. Going paperless can help to reduce paper waste, while large businesses with a catering service can reduce food wastage by improving planning and better forecasting for levels of food consumption.
Reduce travel and go electric
Businesses with vehicles can switch to electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and other ways of reducing unnecessary transport should be explored. Encouraging employees to cycle to work or use public transport rather than driving to work and to business trips will also drive down the company’s carbon footprint. Instead of arranging in-person meetings that require travel, have online meetings and allow home working to reduce the fuel emissions used by the people working at your company.
Use data-driven technology
There are many digital technology solutions that can measure and create efficiencies, using data intelligently to identify sustainability improvements. Concerto software is a property asset management system that enables data-driven supply chain management, improved compliance and detailed estate performance analysis.
The software can provide real-time data about energy consumption across the business estate to help pinpoint areas where costs and energy consumption can be reduced.
Concerto also offers features such as proactive maintenance, which detects a failing asset component before it fails, preventing loss of production for the time taken to order, deliver and fit the new component.
By working with our energy management & sustainability engineers and utilising the advanced technology features of Concerto, together we can improve sustainability and develop the level of plan required to meet the carbon zero targets.