Improve your green credentials
You only have to look at government policy and consumer chatter to see that climate change is now high on most people’s agendas. In June 2019, the UK became the first major economy to pass a law on net zero emissions by 2050. And our own research revealed more than half of Britons believe we, as a nation, aren’t doing enough to tackle our impact on the planet, with around a quarter of people saying it’s the responsibility of business.
So what are your options for improving the green credentials of your business? The good news is that there is plenty you can do, some of it quick and easy, other activities may take longer and require investment in time and money, but whatever you as an individual organisation seek to do, multiplied up and down the country it can have a significant impact.
We set an example for others to follow by extending our 100% renewables-backed electricity offer to small business customers, allowing them to join our residential customers who we already provided with electricity backed by 100% renewable sources as standard.* Eligible small business customers can take advantage of this at no extra cost when they agree a new deal with us.
Reduce consumption, and not just of energy
It may seem obvious, but a sure-fire way of reducing your impact on the environment is ensuring your employees only use the energy and other resources each day that they really need to.
- When people finish work for the day ensure all unnecessary lights and computers are turned off
- Consider whether you really need to print documents, and print as standard on both sides and in black and white
- Do away with single-use plastic cups by providing reusable cups or mugs or encouraging staff to bring in their own
- Offer your customers more sustainable options, such as a discount for reusing packaging
Fewer miles, greener miles
- Increasing your team’s green thinking before they even arrive at work can help reduce your business’ overall carbon footprint
- Consider setting up a cycle to work scheme and take advantage of exemptions that allow employers to provide bikes and equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit
- Make use of video conferencing or even an ordinary phone to cut down on trips for face-to-face meetings
- Car sharing could reduce your carbon footprint, and can be encouraged by introducing dedicated car sharing parking spaces
Consider who you do business with
In everyday life, we make friends and surround ourselves with people with whom we share common interests and values, so why would you do business any differently?
It makes sense to align your business with others that share your standards and policies and it adds credibility to your sustainability goals. When looking at business partners or suppliers, ask yourself:
- Do their environmental values and goals complement yours?
- Do the services they offer align with the needs of your business and your customers?
- Is there anything about the relationship you can include in your marketing that will resonate with your customers and perhaps attract more?
Waste not want not
Government data estimated that in 2016 over 18% of total waste was generated by commercial and industrial organisations.
If you don’t already have a recycling scheme, a simple way to reduce your business’ environmental impact is to introduce one. Just as at home, the most important consideration is to have clearly visible, well-marked recycling bins around the workplace and in any breakout rooms. The easier it is for your employees to recycle their waste, the more likely they are to do it.
You should also make sure you communicate the changes to employees, including what the benefits are for both your business and the environment.
Whatever action you choose to take, get your staff involved in your environmental goals, encourage them to come up with their own ideas on how your business can be greener, allow them the time and resources to contribute and recognise their efforts.
*Electricity sourced from E.ON’s renewable generation assets, supply agreements with independent UK wind generators and the purchase of renewable electricity certificates. The electricity supplied to homes and businesses comes from the National Grid. Eligible customers include SMEs who are fed by a non-half hourly meter agreeing a Fixed Business Plan directly with E.ON.
Tomorrow is .on
This is the new energy world – smart, personalised and sustainable – and a look at the global trends and cultural shifts driving the shift towards sustainability across the planet.
Opinion and insight
What we do and what we think about helping the UK to get to the energy system of the future.
Whether you’re driven by environmental and social concerns, or responding to customer demand, we take a look at the opportunities offered by renewable and sustainable business solutions.