Guide to reducing your carbon footprint for businesses
From sending unrecycled waste to landfill, to keeping office equipment switched on for far longer than is needed, there are many things a business does that can have a negative impact on our environment.
From contributing to air pollution, which can cause various illnesses and destroy wildlife, to raising the temperature of our planet, which causes devastating storms, we’re wreaking havoc on our planet, and we all have a responsibility to make a change to this.
Unfortunately, so much of the devastation we experience has been caused by humans in the past few decades. In fact, half of all plastic to ever exist was created by us in the last 13 years. Sadly, it’s reported that 79% of this hasn’t been destroyed or recycled and is instead sitting in landfill. (source)
A clean and healthy planet is essential for ensuring the health of humankind, and the other inhabitants of the earth. We’re all responsible for guarding the future of our planet, and it’s particularly important for organisations to make a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint.
At phs Besafe, we’re committed to helping the environment. We construct our protective workwear to last as long as possible before needing to be replaced (as branded and contaminated garments are required to be destroyed), and we use organic detergent as part of our industrial workwear laundering service. Additionally, with our secure uniform destruction service, we reduce the need for businesses to employ additional uniform collectors from another source, which minimises the number of vehicles needing to travel to and from our customers’ premises.
Last year, we also worked with one of our suppliers, Shield 360, to protect against deforestation by planting new trees in the Amazon Rainforest. The project saw us plant 250 new trees, which will help the Amazon Rainforest to continue producing 20% of the world’s oxygen, and be a viable home for its 44,000 plant and animal species and 2.5 million different insects. The new trees will also help the Amazon’s 500 or so indigenous tribes get access to the shelter, medicines, food, and work for which they are responsible.
However, we want other businesses to follow suit! Here are the top three ways businesses can reduce their carbon footprint…
Switch off your equipment when not in use
Although switching off the lights and other electrical equipment when not in use has been estimated to reduce CO2 levels by up to 60%, a report released by the Imperial College of London in 2010 found that this has been greatly underestimated, which is why it’s so important for your business to ensure it switches off unneeded lights. As well as putting up posters to remind your staff to turn the lights off when they leave particular areas (such as the washroom), you can take inspiration from the serviced offices provider, Rombourne, by installing lights that automatically switch off when they’re not in use. They also recommend swapping halogens bulbs for LED ones, as these use 90% less energy.
However, it isn’t just your building’s lights that should be turned off when they’re not in use; the same rule applies to almost all office equipment, including computers, printers, and photocopiers. To make this an easier task to achieve, set devices to automatically power off when they’ve not been used after a certain amount of time, and put up posters with a list of devices that need to be switched off before the last person leaves the office each day.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Recycling is one of the most important things your business can do to help save our planet. The more waste that’s sent to landfill to degrade, the more harmful greenhouse gases are released into the air, which contributes to climate change. This has a negative effect on our planet’s atmosphere by raising the temperature and causing storms. Because less waste ends up in landfill sites, and producing items from recycled materials uses less energy than new ones, encouraging your workforce to recycle is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
To get your whole team on board, make sure that you have recycling bins for different materials (such as paper and plastic), and that these are clearly labelled and placed in easy to access areas throughout your premises. You should also make a conscious effort to minimise the amount of waste you produce by providing biodegradable products in the workplace (such as paper towels), and encouraging your workers to only print documents when it’s absolutely necessary; instead, they should store and share them online using a Cloud-based system.
Reduce vehicles travelling to your premises
Burning fossil fuels (which are used to power cars, trains, and buses) releases harmful greenhouse gas emissions into the air, which can have a detrimental effect on the environment. In fact, in 2015, it was concluded that 27% of greenhouse gases were from fossil fuels, and with there being more and more cars on the road each year, it’s increasingly important that you encourage your employees to walk or cycle to work by providing the necessary facilities to enable them to do so, such as on-site showering facilities and secure bike racks.
Another way you to reduce the amount of vehicles travelling to and from your workplace is by setting up a carpool scheme for your workers. Additionally, to check the effect your business is having on the planet, you can request a free environmental audit to identify where you need to make changes. When it comes to the services you outsource, this could mean streamlining them so that they’re handled by the same supplier At phs Besafe, we manage the amount of vehicles visiting our customers’ sites on a regular basis, to less individual trips need to be made as part of our industrial laundering and garment destruction services.
For more information on phs Besafe’s safety workwear supply, laundry, and destruction services for businesses, contact us today.