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For some businesses, reducing carbon emissions can be a difficult task. Although we believe that electric vehicles and installing solar panels are the key to reducing our carbon footprints, these are often impractical and expensive ideals. We understand that these solutions are not cheap, and so we’ve collected 3 cost-effective carbon-reducing ideas.
1. Cutting business emissions through transport
There’s no arguing that vehicles are one of the worst offenders for emitting carbon. In the recent UK government report on sector emissions, the transport sector was found to be one of the largest carbon contributors.
For all businesses, cars, vans, and planes are all needed for travel and the transport of goods. Because of this, transport emissions are often overlooked in favour of easier quick-wins for business carbon reduction. There is, however, a few ways you can limit the usage of your vehicles, and therefore your emissions.
One way to reduce the carbon emissions of your vehicles is to use them less. If your business offers deliveries and collections of your products or services, grouping jobs in the same location at the same time will help to reduce how far your vehicles travel, and their emissions. This will take some initial organisation to plan and implement, but once it becomes common practice, you will start to significantly reduce emissions and increase your business’ efficiency.
Another cost-effective solution is to promote working from home to lower transmissions in the third scope of carbon tracking. As staff and employers have adapted to remote working due to the recent pandemic, emissions have fallen as a result. Referring back to the government’s report, during lockdown restrictions emissions from the transport sector fell by almost 20%. This is a huge reduction, and one which could be continued if businesses are willing to adapt.
Travel emission savings are not the only benefit from home-working. The costs of lighting and heating a workplace could also be reduced, even if remote working is only implemented one day a week. If your physical office can lower its energy usage while staff remote work, it can also save on carbon emissions, which brings us to our next solution.
2. Swap to 100% renewable energy
Recent advancements in renewable energy sources have made it even easier for households and businesses to become more sustainable. In fact, in the first quarter of 2020, renewables contributed to 47% of the total energy generated in the UK. With how easy it has become to swap suppliers, it is worth shopping around for what deals are available.
Along with significantly reducing business emissions, swapping suppliers can also be cost-effective. Since 2010, the cost of renewables has been on a steady decline, and as more investments are made to increase the availability and advancements of green energy, this is only going to continue.
Transitioning to an energy supplier such as Bulb, our power supplier of choice, can also save you future costs on offsetting your emissions. Rather than continuing to use unsustainable energy sources and then having to neutralise those emissions with offsetting, purchasing renewable energy from the start will save you time and money in the long run.
3. Always reuse when possible
Our last solution to lower your business carbon emissions is through reuse. As an ITAD, we try to promote reuse as much as possible to prevent useful assets from going to waste. But for businesses like yours, what benefit does reuse have on lowering your emissions? And how is it cost-effective?
In a previous article detailing the carbon footprint of a smartphone, we found that 80% of a phone’s carbon emissions come from its production, which can be around 57.6Kg per device. Every time a business chooses to buy a fleet of new smartphones, they are also purchasing the carbon generated in its creation.
Although 57.6Kg may not seem a lot, the number quickly increases when put into perspective. If your business purchases 100 new replacement smartphones every 3 years, that’s 576Kg of carbon emissions every 3 years unnecessarily released.
This is where mobile phone recycling and reuse helps to save carbon and costs at the same time. Sending your business assets for refurbishment is always cheaper than buying new, and increases the lifetime value of your fleet of tech. The longer your business can use an asset, the less you purchase new ones. As a result, less carbon is emitted through production as fewer smartphones need to be made.
Simple solutions are the most effective to reduce carbon emissions
Not every business can spend a lot of time and funds to reduce emissions. It’s important to implement the easiest solutions first, gain some momentum and then work up to more challenging goals over time.