We're all becoming increasingly familiar with the concepts behind reducing our carbon footprint in day-to-day life, with people everywhere taking steps such as car-sharing, recycling and eating less red meat to spare the environment.
Businesses are following suit and joining the green movement, but how does being environmentally friendly help businesses?
In this article, we'll take a look at five of the top reasons for going green in 2020, and explore the implications this could have for your firm.
The trend towards buying and consuming environmentally friendly products and services is no short term craze; it’s an ongoing and long term pattern that has seen businesses becoming more environmentally friendly in the last two decades, Nielsen reports, and is set to continue.
Our research suggests that two thirds of consumers would choose to buy from environmentally friendly businesses over those that are not making the effort to reduce their carbon footprint. This is not just a branding exercise with undefined goals; reducing your carbon footprint – and telling people about it – could directly affect your business' bottom line.
Environmentally friendly small businesses save money in a number of ways, one of which is the reduction of waste. Turning lights and computer monitors off at the end of the day saves on energy bills, as does switching out lightbulbs for LED replacements. Reducing paper usage and installing a hot water boiler rather than using a kettle could also lead to significant savings.
At an organisational level, you might want to consider zero-carbon energy sources, or even having solar panels installed on your premises if it is suitable.
Promoting green initiatives within your business, and giving members of staff responsibility for ensuring environmentally-friendly standards are upheld, could improve both staff morale and staff retention within your business. Introducing car-sharing schemes or giving employees the option to work from home are practical examples of how you could reduce the impact of your staff’s work commutes on the environment.
What’s more, people want to work for forward-thinking companies. Being able to talk about these initiatives and showcase your business’ stance on the environment when recruiting new talent might help you to stand out from your competition in the jobs market.
The UK government's Net Zero 2050 initiative began when 120 businesses wrote to then-Prime Minister Theresa May to urge her to legislate for a bold climate target that would eliminate the country's contributions to global emissions.
The Climate Change Act 2008 was duly amended and an order came into force in June 2019, giving businesses an additional incentive to reduce their environmental impact- encouraging change through responsible regulation. This regulation may affect businesses by:
Above all of the reasons listed here, we all share the responsibility to do our bit for the planet, and actively contributing towards an environmentally friendly business with a minimal carbon footprint is something anyone can be proud of.
While many critics of the green movement argue that systemic change is required if global warming is to be addressed, we can all start locally by taking positive steps in our workplace and even in our own homes