Collaborative Post

There are plenty of ecological challenges facing the planet, and one thing we have all had drummed into us from our youngest days is that everyone has a shared responsibility to do something about it. Intuitively, this must apply as much to businesses as it does to individuals, yet when we hear words like sustainability or corporate social responsibility our minds automatically turn to those large companies with nine-figure turnovers that have boards, committees and shareholders to satisfy.

Here, we take a look at some strategies that even the smallest business can adapt to reduce its carbon footprint and do its bit to protect the world's resources.

Use LED lighting

When it comes down to it, a business that is using anything other than LEDs is still living in the 20th century. Fluorescent tubes and traditional halogen bulbs use around 15 times as much energy and do not last as long as LEDs like the ones shown on this website. LEDs are also far more versatile and give a more pleasant, warm light that has been shown to deliver health benefits, as well as environmental ones. There is really no good reason to use anything else.

Go paper-free

The paper-free office has proven to be something of a holy grail. For the past 20 years, it has been something that is coming imminently, but here we are in 2018, and while paper usage has certainly reduced, it has not been eliminated. The trick is not to try too hard. Some customers will still want paper billing and that is fine, but by making paper-free the default option, you will be amazed at how dramatically your paper consumption reduces.

Ditch the desktop

Something else that has gradually changed over the past 20 years or so is our approach to technology. In the 1990s, it was the businesses that had the cutting edge tech, while in our homes, we were just starting to join the technology bandwagon. These days, many offices still look exactly the same with those tower-style PCs and their huge fans, while at home we have sleek tablets and laptops. By taking a "less is more" approach at work, you will use far less electricity, have more modern and efficient kit to use and even free up desk space, too.

Embrace video conferencing

Whether your business is large or small, meetings with clients, suppliers, business partners and other stakeholders are an essential part of everyday life. But that doesn't mean you are forced to sit in traffic jams or on planes, wasting time and burning litres of fossil fuels every month. Platforms like Skype offer effective solutions for virtual meetings, while there is other software, such as Slack and Trello, which you can use to collaborate on projects in a shared virtual workspace. Like the "paper free" topic, there are times when only a physical meeting will do, but if you think virtual first, physical second, the time, cost and environmental impact of your meetings will reduce dramatically.