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How to Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time and many people are making conscious efforts to do their bit to fight the effects of global warming. If you run a business, then you’ve also got a responsibility to go greener where you can, whether you run a multinational corporation or a small local company.

Green business practices aren’t just good for the environment, they have a positive effect on your reputation too and can even help to boost sales. A business’s environmental impact is an increasing concern for many customers, so a commitment to ‘going green’ can do wonders for your company. Even the smallest changes can make a difference, so if you want to find out more about how to make your business more eco-friendly, read on for our handy guide.

Choose sustainable energy sources

Alternative sources of energy like solar, wind or water power are not only better for the environment, they could reduce your company’s energy bills too. Your options will depend on your business premises and location, but you might be able to install solar panels on the roof or source energy from a nearby wind turbine farm.

Many businesses are also eligible for funding or grants to help them implement greener energy solutions, whether that’s solar panels, heat pumps or even a waste to energy plant.

Recycle more

Large offices can generate huge amounts of waste, so clearly labelled recycling bins are essential. Ensure you have separate bins for paper, cardboard, plastic and glass, and place them somewhere prominent like the kitchen to encourage employees to use them.

Proper disposal of electronic equipment is also essential, so ensure you have WEEE (Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment) recycling methods in place. Under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006, businesses must store, collect, treat, recycle and dispose of WEEE separately from other waste.

They also have a responsibility to obtain and record proof that all WEEE equipment was treated and disposed of in an environmentally friendly way and a business can be fined for breaching these regulations. Many recycling companies offer the collection and proper disposal of electronic equipment, so make arrangements to ensure that your business is recycling electronics in the correct way.

Green cleaning products

Many cleaning products contain chemicals that have harmful implications for the environment and human health, so consider making the switch to eco-friendly cleaning products in your office. There are plenty of non-toxic alternatives on the market, made using natural ingredients that are better for both the environment and your health.

Green cleaning products are just as effective when it comes to getting results and they won’t pollute the surrounding air or water supplies when they’re washed away. Eco-friendly cleaning products also use packaging made from recycled or biodegradable materials, so you don’t have to worry about adding extra waste to landfill either.

Shipping container offices

Shipping containers are a great, eco-friendly office alternative and they’re particularly useful if you’re looking for a temporary workplace solution. With many of us now working remotely or on a more flexible schedule, a lot of businesses are finding they don’t need to pay for expensive, inner city office rentals.

Millions of shipping containers remain empty across the globe and the majority won’t be used again to transport cargo. Recycling shipping containers by using them as offices is a sustainable alternative to constructing new office buildings and they’re a lot more affordable than traditional office rent. Shipping containers can also be adapted to suit your requirements and they come with all the mod cons you’d expect, from lighting and electricity, to a fully fitted kitchen.

Energy efficient appliances

Most modern electronics come with an energy star rating to show their efficiency and they’re worth paying attention to next time you need to upgrade your appliances. Aim for an A graded appliance or A+, A++, or even A+++ for maximum energy savings. It’s also worth shopping around to ensure you’re getting the best deal in terms of low energy use.

Smaller changes like swapping traditional fluorescent bulbs for LED models can also make all the difference. LED lighting is much more energy efficient and can save your business money in the long run. LED bulbs convert around 90% of their energy into light, with very little wasted as heat. In comparison, traditional bulbs waste around 80-90% of their energy as heat, making them much less efficient.

Green web hosting

Internet companies require huge amounts of energy to power their data centres and this can have a significant impact on the environment. Greenpeace has been urging internet companies to use renewable energy for their data centres since 2010 and huge companies like Facebook and Google have already committed to doing their part.

Green web hosting means choosing a web hosting solution that’s powered by renewable energy sources, and/or run by a company that’s making efforts to offset their carbon footprint. There are many green web hosting options to choose from, so you can ensure that your company’s website is up and running without having a negative impact on the environment.

Go paperless

Most companies have already made the switch to online applications, but if you haven’t done so already, now is the time. Less paperwork can improve the efficiency of your business and it’s much better for the environment. In some cases, you may be required to keep paper records but most businesses (including government departments) now accept digital documents as standard.

Switching to a cloud based application like Google Docs or Dropbox allows your business to easily share data, edit files and take digital notes and it's an easy way to keep all the important information you need in one place. Consider investing in employee training if necessary to ensure that everyone knows how to use an online system and process electronic documents, then sit back and enjoy an efficient, organised workplace that’s doing its bit for the environment.

Alternative transport

The impact of Covid-19 has meant that remote working is now the norm for many employees, but if they must travel into work, encourage green methods of transportation. Cycle to work schemes are one great way to get started and they allow employees to save money on bicycles and cycling accessories. You could also encourage employees to carpool to cut down on car pollution emissions, especially if your office is based in a busy urban area.

Some businesses also offer employee benefits and incentives for walking to work, taking public transport or cycling. This could be in the form of subsidised public transport costs or small bonuses/prizes for the employees who use their cars the least.

Sustainable portable building solutions - from the experts at Manchester Cabins

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly, temporary alternative to traditional office buildings, consider the range of portable buildings for hire from Manchester Cabins. We’re proud to supply a range of portable buildings to suit you, including jackleg cabins, anti-vandal units and steel storage containers. Our units offer a versatile, cost-effective alternative to permanent offices and they can be customised to suit your requirements. We can also deliver units and containers at short notice, so you can keep your business up and running if circumstances change or you need to relocate at short notice.

Our portable buildings and containers are durable, hassle-free and a great eco-friendly option for your business, so give us a call today or visit our website to find out more.

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