Efficiency and Reduction come before Balance
Of course we believe that Balance is the best way for an organisation to balance their emissions. But there’s a step before that, which is to reduce those emissions as much as possible. Having read this far, you’ll probably know this already, and the chances are that you’re already taking steps to be energy efficient and reduce your carbon footprint, both in your business life and your personal one. But sometimes it’s useful to be reminded of what those steps are, however trivial they may seem, just to make sure that none of them have been left out. Below is a brief listing of some things that will make a difference, but if any of them need further investigation then we suggest referring to this advice from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-energy-climate-change).
And remember, many of these steps save money as well, so there’s no time like the present to put them in place
30 energy-saving ideas for business.
Low hanging fruit
- Encourage home working and video meetings. This reduces transport needs and office energy. (It’s great to meet from time to time, but even better when you get there by public transport.)
- If people still need to drive, help them to carpool.
- Make recycling effortless.
- Avoid single-use packaging.
- LED lighting.
- Keep light fittings clean.
- Insulate your pipework.
- Timers – a lot of saving for little cost.
- Low energy equipment, renewable energy supplier.
The next level
- Be generous with electric vehicle charging points. (And less generous with the size of the car park).
- Use electric vehicles for your own fleet.
- Fit modern electronic thermostats.
- Optimise the lighting when you change the office layout.
- Ask everyone to unplug mobiles when they’re charged.
- Use large communal printers, not lots of small ones.
- Use sustainability-audited suppliers for your catering.
- Buy locally if possible (supporting your staff’s local community, too).
- Keep air circulating around your refrigerators.
- See if a new boiler would work out cheaper.
- Study your supply chain for inefficiencies.
- Apply the same principles to your supply chain as you would to your own business.
- Ask your suppliers to tell you about their efficiency and reduction measures.
- Make any new buildings as energy efficient as possible.
- Replace your systems together and to a plan, rather than piecemeal.
One step beyond
- Suspend the ceiling for less space to heat.
- Fans may save you money by equalising temperatures.
- Listen for leaks when everyone’s gone home.
- Build an energy-conscious culture. It’s a sign of a thoughtful workplace.
- Think up creative incentives for energy-saving ideas.
- Use equipment replacement as a chance to rethink. There are usually more efficient alternatives out there, and effective refurbishment planning can produce significant cost benefits on top of the environmental ones.
Intelligent building refurbishment and optimising operation
- All building systems wear out after 15 to 20 years, such as heating, cooling, and ventilation. Traditionally buildings are upgraded with new versions of old equipment. We recommend you upgrade with new equipment versions that cost the same. Commission a building engineering feasibility study and you will find within an existing capital expenditure, you can generate between 40% to 60% cost savings in the ongoing running of the building and the same reduction in your carbon footprint.
- Appoint an energy Guru, and give them keys to the boiler room, so can keep the building tuned to specification. Ask your landlord for the buildings facility operational specifications, so this person is up to speed. Charge them with general efficiency and reduction best practice as well.
15 energy-saving ideas for everyone.
Low hanging fruit
- Switch to renewable energy.
- Insulate the loft and use less of that energy anyway.
- Energy saving light bulbs, motion-sensitive lighting…
- Turn on the heating (and the air con, if you’re fancy) as late and as low as possible.
- Use thermostats to cut down energy waste.
- Unplug mobile and computer chargers when finished.
- Use an electric vehicle if you can. Share, rent, carpool.
- Walk to school (build up your steps).
- Support farm shops and local produce.
The next level
- Turn TV’s and tech off rather than leaving them on standby.
- Get low energy appliances and tech when you replace them.
- Don’t have a water-wasting lavatory. (You’d be surprised).
- Don’t waste hot water either. (Have you thought about a hot water tap?)
- A better boiler may work out cheaper.
One step beyond
- Explore microgeneration through wind or solar. (And generate renewable energy all by yourself.)