There are numerous myths about what it means for businesses to improve their sustainability performance. But research shows that if you don’t go green you will be left behind. Go green ideas may be easier to implement than you think, and doesn’t have to be a long and tedious process. In fact there are a number of ways to improve the sustainability performance of your business…for FREE.
Have you heard of the “Vampire effect”? Appliances that are plugged in still use energy when they are off or in standby mode. Cornell University says an average household has approximately 20 of these devices, which can add $200 a year to energy bills. Cornell also found that if a computer is actually shut off for nights and weekends it only costs $3 a year in electricity compared to $41 per year in standby mode. Eliminate this “vampire” by simply unplugging electronics or installing power strips that you can turn off at the end of the day.
Carpool and Work From Home
The average time to commute to work in the US is 25.4 minutes according to the U.S. Bureau Census, and some areas with daily commutes taking over an hour long. This adds a huge amount of total emissions, and is something that can be cut from your company’s emissions easily. It also helps your employees save money and get to know each other better. Also with incredible technological advances, letting your employees work at home is easier than ever. Although still uncommon and uncomfortable for employers’, a study shows that homeworking could save £3bn in the UK and reduce carbon footprint big time.
Recycle and Compost
Recycling and compost are key ingredients to a sustainable future and are programs that are expanding into businesses. Recycling is a newer program, and has helped reuse a numerous amount of materials. It is also important for businesses to participate in the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This helps your business save money, and helps reduce carbon footprint. Composting is growing in popularity and is a very sustainable option, even more so than recycling. In 2011, 61% of households composted, up from 38% in 1996. There are many benefits for farmers and even more cities and towns providing curbside compost pickups.
Change Your Diet
The global food system has a massive impact on climate change. Agriculture contributes 13% of global emissions, and livestock are a big reason for that. Encouraging your employees to shop locally and more green can help eliminate scope 3 emissions and lower your business’s carbon footprint. Encouraging programs like Meatless Mondays, or locally sourced meals in the workplace are all easy and great places to start. And it’s easier than you’d think, Vancouver Humane Society says that 12 million Canadians became vegetarians or significantly lowered their meat consumption in 2015.
Schedule Energy Review
Most local utility companies offer a low cost or FREE evaluation of your company. This helps your business find ways to improve energy efficiency for free as well as ways that can save you and your green business thousands of dollars in the long run. Check out BC Hydro’s free energy evaluation here.
These are just a few of the endless ways for a business to reduce its carbon footprint and improve sustainability for free. And there are even more ways to reduce carbon footprint for a small price that can save you money in the future. Business sustainability is important to your employees, customers and will help your business be part of a greener future, all while not costing you a dime.