Recent weeks have seen monumental action taken by the UK Government in regard to the growing concern of climate change across the globe.
In October 2018 the UN report was released, warning of the ‘final call’, that irreparable damage will occur to the planet if global warming continues and is not kept to a maximum of 1.5 C. Should this barrier be broken - even slightly - experts say that this will drastically increase the risk of floods and droughts across the world.
Following this report, the UK Government responded by formally seeking guidance from the Committee on Climate Change on how to prepare for a zero-emissions future.
The UK economy is built predominantly on burning fossil fuels. Should the severity suggested by the UN report be recognised by the UK Government and responded to, the UK will need to prepare for an economic and environmental shift on a scale not seen since the industrial revolution.
Even so, the report provides a perfect opportunity to work as a collective to prevent the threats that global warming pose. With this in mind, what can your company be doing to adapt to these targets?
A great deal of businesses have already taken steps to digitalise processes. However, surveys have found that 39% of companies have not implemented paperless schemes to reduce their paper usage.
Some of the key benefits of reducing paper include:
- reduced office clutter
- tighter data security
- faster communications
- centralised information.
Not only could your company be improving their business practices, but they could also be lowering their environmental footprint simultaneously, making this decision a clear option for all!
Encouraging low-carbon habits through incentive schemes are becoming more popular. Such examples include…
There are many benefits of carpooling - reduced fuel costs, fewer emissions, and less traffic congestion on the roads, to name a few. These benefits not only make day-to-day life more practical for all, but would also benefit the environment drastically. By providing perks for those who share their journey to work with another, your company's environmental footprint could be significantly reduced.
Such incentives could include:
- Priority parking spaces
- Fuel allowance for journeys shared
- Discounted parking/additional financial perks
- Communication of the drastic cost-saving participants could make!
The cycle-to-work scheme was brought in by the UK Government in 1999 and has continued to be available to benefit businesses and employees since.
The scheme allows employees to purchase bikes and equipment through salary sacrifice, allowing beneficial rates via tax-efficient deductions from salary, and so goods can be bought with savings of 25-39%.
The promotion and use of this scheme throughout your workplace could mean fewer cars, happier, healthier, and more active employees, as well as a lower company environmental impact.
Partake in 'Green Procurement'
Green procurement is the notion of purchasing goods and services that have the least adverse effects on the environment. This is already incentivised across several countries and has benefits to all parties.
Whilst it is clearly beneficial to the environmental impact, it also benefits the company due to the positive light they will be seen in by consumers for taking a stand against ill company practices and by only supporting 'sustainable suppliers'.
Such a knock-on effect can only mean positive outcomes for the future.
Break the Obsession with Convenience
Over the years humans have become much more technologically advanced. However, we have also become much lazier as a result and are constantly finding ways to do less and less.
Whilst this may be harmless in some areas, it is vital that this doesn’t spill into how we impact our environment. That means we must:
- Take the stairs rather than the lift wherever possible
- Use recyclable containers
- Cut down on single-use items
Reduce Building Energy Wastage
Whilst it may seem like an unjust investment to some, it is crucial to inspect how well your company’s premises are performing in terms of energy conservation.
Should your premises performance be weak, it may be beneficial to invest in insulation, whether that be in the roof or walls, or even improved windows.
These changes can not only improve your cost savings in the future, but also save our environment.
Invest in Environmental Performance Reporting (EPR) Software
With the increasingly strict Government targets on how much we can collectively minimise our emissions, it is important for individual companies to be able to monitor their individual performance.
Through EPR software your company can record, analyse and track the environmental performance across a whole range of variables, whether that be CO2 emissions, water usage, or consumption of raw materials and energy.
By taking active steps to monitor such ratings, company culture will be shaped to make efforts to improve environmental performance, ultimately benefiting all.
Climate change is real and should be taken seriously across all parties, together we can restrict these changes and collectively save ourselves from irreparable damage.