The coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic impact all around the world. The UK has been in lockdown for several weeks and the government has brought in strict social distancing measures to help control the spread of the disease. Social isolation, travel bans, and business closures resulting from coronavirus have caused huge disruption to our daily routines. However, the measures brought in to help fight the pandemic have revealed some unexpected benefits. In particular, we have seen a huge drop in greenhouse gases and experts at Carbon Brief estimate that coronavirus will result in the largest ever annual drop in CO2 emissions. With social distancing regulations due to be relaxed over the coming weeks, everyone must take the time to reflect on their environmental impact. With this in mind, here are some useful tips to help businesses become greener and maintain the environmental effects of the coronavirus:
Invest in renewable energy
Switching to renewable energy is a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint and create a greener business. Unlike traditional fossil fuels, renewable energy is generated from green sources such as wind and solar. This means that it releases zero harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Along with environmental benefits, renewable energy can also save organisations money through energy-saving benefits. According to experts at MyPower, “Rising electricity costs and good roof space provided by commercial properties make a solar panel system a sensible investment.” Another key benefit of installing solar panels is that it is a highly visible way of demonstrating your support for the environment. This will improve your brand image and reputation which in turn, should help you increase sales and profits within your business.
Adopt energy-saving practices
Creating a green office culture and adopting energy-saving practices in the workplace is another easy way to reduce harmful emissions and help the environment. Becoming more conservative with your energy use will also cut your utility bills and could save you significant amounts of money in the long-run. Fortunately, there are various ways to make your company more energy-efficient.
Here are a few ideas:
- Switch off all equipment at the end of the day and when they are not in use.
- Install motion sensors so that lights turn off automatically when not needed. Take advantage of natural light as much as possible to reduce the need for artificial lighting.
- Make sure that all office equipment is put on the most economical setting and take advantage of energy-saving features such as screensavers.
- Invest in a smart thermostat to help you manage your office temperature more efficiently.
- Upgrade old office appliances and equipment with more energy-efficient models.
- Have an energy audit carried out to gain an overview of your energy performance and get advice on ways to make your business premises more energy-efficient.
Support green waste management
Almost a quarter of the UK’s total waste is generated by businesses, according to government statistics. Large volumes of waste items currently end up at landfill which is contributing huge amounts of carbon emissions. To avoid causing further pollution, organisations should be responsible with their waste management and adopt strategies to enhance their recycling efforts. This will help to minimise environmental harm and should also boost business efficiency and reduce costs. There are many cost-effective ways to improve waste management practices in the workplace. For instance, a baling machine can compress items such and cardboard boxes, thus allowing waste to be conveniently stored and transported to recycling facilities. You should place signs around your workplace to notify employees of the waste management strategies in force. This will encourage staff to follow recycling policies and deal with their waste in the most eco-friendly way possible.
Offer green incentives in the workplace
Keep in mind that your environmental efforts will only be effective if you get your team on board. Offering green incentives can be an extremely effective way to motivate staff and encourage them to become more eco-conscious in the workplace. Some examples of environmental workplace incentives include providing rewards for green commuting and carsharing, holding competitions for the best office recyclers, and creating cycle to work schemes.
There is no denying that the coronavirus has had a devastating effect and caused a huge disruption to daily life. However, the measures brought in to fight the pandemic have led to several environmental benefits including a dramatic drop in carbon emissions. As the coronavirus regulations start to ease, we should all reflect on our environmental impact and take steps to create a healthier and more sustainable society. Businesses, in particular, should use the return to work as an opportunity to invest in green practices and help maintain the environmental effects of the coronavirus.