Energy efficiency for business
Don't let waste compromise your business. The inefficient use of raw materials, packaging and technology could be costing you thousands of pounds in lost revenue, and ruining your competitive edge.
All businesses, even very small firms, can look for cost savings and reduce their environmental impact by reusing, recycling and recovering packaging. A typical business spends up to 4% of their annual turnover on waste disposal, so more and more businesses are choosing to adopt the 3R’s - Reduce, Re-use and Recycle - in a bid to cut their costs.
Here are some suggestions of things you can do:
- Buy only what you need. Think stock control and how to streamline processes across departments.
- Buy recycled paper.
- Purchase products without excessive packaging whenever possible.
- Choose photocopiers and printers with double sided printing capacity.
- Ask staff and colleagues to 'think before they throw'. Someone else may be able to use their old items.
- Share resources in the office where possible - does everyone need their own stapler, glue etc?
- Only print documents when you have to and, if you do, print on both sides of the paper.
- Add a message to the bottom of all your emails which says "Don't print this email out unless absolutely necessary" to encourage colleagues and customers to think before they print.
- If you have a water fountain or cooler, bring in your own glass or bottle and keep refilling this rather than using disposable plastic cups, which can be hard to recycle.
- Refill toner and ink jet cartridges rather than buying new ones.
- Use waste / scrap paper as note paper. Start a scrap paper box in your office and encourage staff and colleagues to use this for memos and notes rather than a fresh piece of paper.
- Reuse Jiffy bags and envelopes.
- Reuse envelopes for internal mail circulation.
- Reuse cardboard boxes for deliveries or packages.
- Reuse files, plastic wallets and document folders as often as you can.
- Use rechargeable batteries when possible.
- Donate surplus / unwanted office furniture to other departments, or to charity or voluntary groups.
Starting up recycling collections from your business can be easy. Talk to your current waste contractors as they will often be able to offer you recycling services that are cost neutral or even cost less than your current arrangement, with many offering flexible collections to suit your company's needs. Savings will continue to increase as the cost of waste disposal through landfill rises in the future.
Alternatively, there are many separate companies around that specialise in recycling business waste. Contact the Green Business Network on 08456 444 880 for a list of companies in your area.
If you own empty land, make positive use of it. Turn it into a wildlife garden or create a pond, make links with your local community or school and get them involved in doing the work or allow them to use it for educational purposes or recreation.