Turning your business green to become more environmentally-friendly is more than just a positive environmental choice. Customers and employers are deliberately seeking out businesses with ‘greener’ working practices as sustainable living and working grows in importance. We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of social media posts about it, for example, and our recent article about the tax and environmental benefits from driving an electric car was one of the most popular blogs ever. It’s clear that as well as being good for our planet, there are economic benefits of going green.
HB has a dream. A dream that we all live happily and healthily on Earth, surrounded by trees, clean water and fresh air. But we all know how humans are polluting our planet through not using our resources as efficiently as we could and generating excessive waste through things like single use plastic that end up in the oceans
HB is keen to take a more sustainable approach to how we work and reduce our impact on the planet. A huge part of this will be achieved through eliminating waste, purchasing more carefully, and ‘carbon offsetting’. You can read more about carbon offsetting in our blog – How Carbon Offsetting helps business and the planet.
How can a small business reduce it’s carbon consumption?
HB’s ultimate goal is to become Carbon positive (moving beyond carbon zero climate positive) – where we give back to the planet more carbon than we take to run our business. This will take some time and we will need to wait for technology to help us. In the meantime, we’re aiming to be carbon neutral.
Planting a tree for every new client
HB has started on the journey to quantify our carbon emissions and look for ways to both offset our carbon and work more sustainably. We are proud of our most recent initiative, to plant a tree for every new client that we introduce.
Presently we partner with The National Trust to plant a tree for each new client, but we would love to work with local nurseries too and plant trees locally to Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire – if this is you please get in touch on 01992 444466.
How can SMEs can reduce the amount of carbon they produce?
You may feel that your business is already ‘green’ – we certainly did – however, we have discovered that there are many small ways in which SMEs can cut the amount of carbon they produce and become more sustainable, ways which we had previously overlooked so we are sharing just a few ideas below. Going green may incur investment, we have found that there may be an initial outlay as we make the switch but working more sustainably should help reduce our costs in the long run.
Typically, businesses find that they can make the biggest changes by reviewing:
- Paper consumption and office supplies
- Vehicle fuel
- Waste (especially waste going to landfill)
- Use of electrics
- Energy usage
Running a greener office
We are conscious about the amount of energy our business uses and are looking to reduce our energy consumption. Some easy energy saving examples include:
- Switching energy companies to one which offers a higher percentage of energy generated by renewable sources
- Turning off electronics when they’re not in use
- Investing in light timers, so all the lights will automatically shut off at the end of the day
- Taking advantage of natural light by working near windows, so we don’t need to rely on overhead lighting
- Enabling sleep mode on electronics, so they use less energy when they’re not in use
- Buying energy efficient office appliances like dishwashers and fridges
Reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ purchased
We are thinking about becoming a ‘minimalist’ office. This means not accumulating ‘stuff’ because it might be useful, such as that extra box of paperclips or additional ring binders, just in case.
We will only printing documents when it’s essential. There are some great tools such as DocuSign, we have started using CCH’s OneClick which allows clients to sign off documents without having to print them out. And if we need business cards or promotional material, we will have them printed onto recycled paper.
For businesses that produce goods, an obvious way to reduce waste is to review the production line and the amount of packaging used. Where’s it’s not possible to reduce the packaging around the goods you sell, can you swap to recycled materials? Is there a compostable alternative to any plastic you may currently use?
As well as all this, we aim to use local companies to reduce the amount of miles our purchases need to travel to reach us.
Aim for zero waste to landfill
With careful planning and effort it is possible to not send any waste to landfill.
We may need professional help by engaging an expert waste treatment contractor but simple actions such as replacing disposable plastic cutlery with bamboo, issuing Team HB with reusable water bottles, and replacing fluorescent tubes with LED lighting or using recyclable batteries, will all help.
Net Zero Webinar with Hertfordshire Growth Hub
HB has a way to go but we’re excited to have started this process. If you want your business to be greener, why not join us, on Thursday 22nd July via Zoom, as we join The Hertfordshire Growth Hub’s Net Zero Webinar – Chris Woodward from Innovate Edge and Rondi Allen from Sustainable X will both be panelists alongside Karen Chase & Amy Armitage at HB Accountants – held during during the UK’s National Awareness Week, Net Zero Week, this event is an opportunity for you to learn why Net Zero has become a Government priority and why it is important that your business joins the move towards Net Zero status. The guest speakers will be discussing the benefits and challenges of achieving Net Zero, how it fits in and helps to build a sustainability strategy.
We are here to help support and grow your business by giving you access to experienced accountants and useful information no matter your business size or sector.
Please feel free to contact the team on 01992 444466. We’re accountants for business and we’re here to help you grow.
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The information contained above is for general guidance purposes only. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the contents are accurate, please note that each individual has different circumstances and it is essential that you seek appropriate professional advice before you act on any of the information contained herein. HB Accountants can accept no liability for any errors or omission or for any person acting on or refraining from acting on the information provided in the above