Being eco-friendly in business is more than just wanting to be environmentally friendly. There are financial benefits as well. As utility bills go on rising, going green makes business sense. Every organisation can blend sustainability with commercial development. Here are some top tips on how companies can reduce costs and cut carbon.
Look at your lighting
Top of the list for eco initiatives should be taking a look at your lighting as part of a full energy audit. LED panels, tubes and lamps can together deliver energy savings of up to 85 per cent and cut carbon emissions at the same time.
When you buy an LED light, it’s wise to choose a quality product that will last for ten years or more.
Consider replacing taps and showers
Green tip number two is to replace taps and showers to reduce water use. Quality eco taps and shower heads are worth the investment as they cut water consumption by more than half. They do this by blending air with water flow. You can get a similar result by buying tap aerators if you want to keep your current taps.
Knowing what you can save with each eco product you choose is a big bonus and there are handy online calculators that can show you how much carbon you save, as well as the annual financial
More energy saving tips
While they’re not the most exciting parts of a business, all companies will have a range of pumps installed at their premises. A Variable Speed Drive fitted to each one can cut energy use by around 50 per cent, shrinking your carbon footprint and cutting bills.
As an eco commitment, it’s always better to buy refurbished or used technology like laptops and PCs. While this might not be an option for larger organisations, smaller companies should reap the green rewards.
Among the most eco-friendly laptops currently available are those by Dell, HP, Apple and Acer. These manufacturers score highly across a range of measures advocated by the Ethical Consumer organisation.
If you need to purchase new desktop PCs, then VeryPC’s Broadleaf range is a highly recommended green winner. Very efficient monitors for desktops include the Dell G2210 and the Lenovo Thinkvision L2251x.
Top eco choices in the scanner department are from Epson and Richoh, while planet-friendly printers include the new L355 and L555 models from Epson. These devices score highly because they feature refillable tanks rather than ink cartridges, which cuts waste and costs.
Companies can add to the green benefits by choosing multi-functional devices that print, scan and copy, with a full duplex operation to print on both sides of the paper.
For smaller businesses, the EcoButton is worth considering too. These devices slot into a USB port and rapidly suspend power on laptops or desktops with a single tap. There’s also a SaveStandbyMouse that performs a similar function.
Get your staff on board with handy apps
While most mobile energy apps are geared towards the home user, they can be adapted for the business setting as a way to raise staff awareness of the need for sustainability in an engaging way. They include the Standby Energy Cost Calculator for Android and the Drip Detective for iPhones.
For a bit of fun and to galvanise staff into thinking about being green, the JouleBug app for iPhones is another good download choice. It groups tips on saving energy into achievements. Participants can rise up the leaderboards and win virtual cups with this competition.
Mark Sait is CEO of SaveMoneyCutCarbon.com, the ‘go to’ people for businesses and households who want to save money on utility bills and reduce their impact on the planet.