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5 Ways Your Business Can Reduce Environmental Impact

Last Updated 2022/04/22

The impact of climate change on the future of our planet without substantial changes to the way we live and work is predicted to be massive. We have limited time to make changes to avoid the consequences of complete climate breakdown. In this article, I will cover five ways that businesses can reduce their impact on the environment and become more environmentally friendly.

1. Remote Working

If your staff can work from home, or even just closer to their home, then you can avoid two commutes, and the associated carbon emissions, for every day they work remotely. This may not be possible to be every day, but each day that you can manage to work remotely will have a benefit. Maybe tie this in with a Do Not Disturb day that we use at SwiftCase when staff can choose to focus on their work on the understanding that they won't be disturbed by phone calls, emails or requests from other team members.

2. Smaller out of town offices

If you can't manage remote working, then maybe reconsider that massive city centre office. Do you need all your staff to commute for hours every day, adding to their carbon footprint? Could you have smaller satellite offices, to which your staff can walk, or cycle? Perhaps, you can create hubs that spread your business geographically, enabling you to attract talent from across the country, and allowing your team a better work-life balance, as you reduce those hours spent commuting.

3. Encourage Walking, Cycling or Public Transport

Start a programme to encourage walking to work. Consider gamifying the process to compete for the most steps in a month, maybe for a prize. Provide bike racks or alternative storage for your team to leave their bikes safely. Start a scheme to fund the purchase of cycling equipment, perhaps through salary sacrifice. Investigate a partnership with a bike shop or manufacturer to get discounts for your staff. If it isn't possible to walk or cycle to your office, then encourage the use of public transport. Ensure that the public transport routes are communicated to new staff when they start work for you. Include a travel pass as part of your package to promote the use of public transport.

4. Smarter meetings

Do you really need to drive or fly hundreds or thousands of miles to have a thirty-minute meeting? Can you hold that meeting virtually? Video conferencing has moved on massively from the early days, and many great software solutions exist, that are easy to use, and don't require any additional equipment than that which comes with most standard laptops, tablets or even phone devices. If you have to meet face to face, then try to maximise the purpose of your journey. Can you meet multiple clients or prospects while you are visiting a particular city? Throw in a visit to a friend that you were going to make on another date. Announce on Social Media that you will be in a specific location if anyone wants to connect with you while you are there.

5. Think about what you drink

Offices are not always like families, especially larger ones, and people don't want to share or wash other's dishes. This often results in single serving solutions for the many coffees, juices and waters that your team consumes daily. Coffee pods, those little plastic containers that you put into your coffee machine, make your drink and then throw away, are a big issue for generating plastic waste. If you don't want to be adding to the enormous pile of plastic waste that isn't going anywhere fast, then cut the coffee pods, or even invest in reusable coffee pods, that you fill with ground coffee. In the same vein, don't buy bottled water. Get a water cooler if you can't manage without water of the mineral variety as at least it is less plastic than single-serving bottles. Consider getting filter jugs, or even drink the clean and fresh water that comes out of your tap. Don't forget the single-serving containers for sugar, salt, pepper, condiments, and so on. Get a bag or bottle for the office and reduce waste.

Conclusion

There are plenty of ways that businesses can play their part in reducing their impact on the environment. Think about how your staff use transport to get to work and meetings, and minimise the need to commute. If you can't avoid travel, then promote low impact methods like walking, cycling and public transport. Consider what you consume inside your office and reduce the amount of plastic waste that you create. SwiftCase helps thriving businesses, swamped by growing demand, automate and organise, to focus on what matters — loved by 1000s of users across Insurance, Finance, Legal, Service & Contractor sectors.

Adam Sykes