Environmental Digital Journalist

August 23, 2021

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Planet-conscious changes you could make to your business

Consumers today are interested in businesses taking corporate social responsibility. Those that care for the environment and can prove it often enjoy the benefits of a more loyal customer base, higher conversion rates, and a growing audience. But how do you make planet-conscious decisions that people can get behind without losing money?

In this article, Sophie Bishop outline some of the best planet-conscious changes you could make that will benefit your business and the bank.

What is a planet-conscious business?

Mental HealthBusinesses that are planet-conscious are often referred to as Green industry businesses. This means they aim to make and use sustainable materials, reduce water and energy usage, cut carbon emissions, and utilise more eco-friendly practices. This approach to business minimises the negative impact of a company on the planet’s natural resources and result in climate change.

A plant-conscious business model ensures that the company’s environmental impact is prioritised in all aspects of the business while remaining profitable. As you adapt your business to Go Green, there are many changes you need to make that positively impact the planet while accurately reflecting your company values.

Below are some of the best ways you can achieve this.

Implement paperless systems

We are living in a digital world. Paperless is everywhere and it is one of the best ways to build a planet-conscious business. While it may not be possible for all businesses to go completely paperless, there are steps you can take to reduce your paper consumption and opt for online methods instead.

Get rid of unnecessary equipment

You will be amazed just how much equipment there is lying around that nobody is using. Transferring your processes onto paperless systems often means it is time to retire old equipment like printers and fax machines.

Adopt electronic payment services 

As a construction business operating in a world where most things are now done online, it is more important than ever to ensure you have everything you need to function well digitally. Considering electronic payment services is an important part of this, however, it doesn’t need to be complicated. By familiarising yourself with the basics of card payments, you can even move your payment systems online and offer a valuable digital service your customers will greatly appreciate.

Upskill employees

Paperless systems can take some to be fully accepted by employees as they are a big adjustment for many. So, it is important to make changes slowly and steadily. “You don’t have to do it all at once, and you don’t even have to go 100% paperless to make a positive impact on your business,” says small business card reader provider SumUp UK. “Replace one paper-heavy process at a time with its digital equivalent—maybe start with the easiest process to transform—and when it’s running the way you want it, move on to another one.”

To ensure a smooth and successful transition, it is helpful to upskill employees on any new management systems so they can continue working without any difficulty.

Conserve water

waterMaking changes to conserve water is a great way to save both money and the environment. There are many ways businesses can conserve water. Below are some of the easiest and most beneficial.

Call in an expert 

The first step in reducing your water usage in the workplace is calling in a professional water auditor. Don’t know what that is? Water Auditors help businesses utilise their water resources wisely. They will look at usage, costings, replacements needed, and your facility. You will then receive a bespoke action plan outlining the steps you can take to conserve water effectively.

Fix leaking taps

Fixing leaky taps, for example, can prevent losing gallons of water. A single leaking tap can waste 5,500 litres of water each year – that’s enough to fill a paddling pool every week for the whole of summer. So, you can see how a change as small as fixing leaky taps can make a huge difference.

Get rid of plastic bottles

Bottled water is one of the leading causes of plastic pollution in the UK. In this country alone, we use 7.7 billion plastic bottles every year and most of these end up in landfills.

If your workplace is in the habit of using single-use plastic bottles, consider installing water coolers or buying staff members reusable water bottles. It’s an easy change to make but can make all the difference.

Educate your employees 

There aren’t many people who waste water on purpose (at least, not that we know of!) But without eco-conscious education, it can be difficult for your staff to understand the changes they need to make. Therefore, it can be helpful to engage your employees in workplace initiatives that champion conscientious water usage and management.

Education goes a long way and taking the time to inform your staff members can help company-wide initiatives be adopted much faster.

Recycle

workplace recycling binsRecycling is one of the simplest ways to make planet-conscious changes in the day-to-day running of your business. There are many new and advanced recycling solutions for plastics that are helping reduce our impact on our planet, but we each need to play our part. Below are a couple of ways you can implement recycling schemes into your business.

Find a reputable waste contractor

The first step in effective recycling is to find a reputable waste contractor that will collect recycling from your construction site (or a recycling drop-off point) and deliver it to a recycling facility on your behalf. This is a great way to ensure your rubbish is properly recycled and taken care of.

Provide recycling bins 

You will get the most out of your recycling efforts if you provide clearly labelled recycling bins where they are needed most in the workplace.

A great way to achieve this is to set up bins for paper, cardboard, and other documents; bins for food waste and packaging in your kitchen space; and bins for batteries, printer cartridges, and electricals near printing stations. Well-placed bins are a great way to make recycling as easy and convenient as possible.

Remove personal bins

Implementing a recycling system can be hard work as not everyone will adopt the idea as quickly as you may want them to. However, a great way to nudge things along can be to remove personal bins from under employee’s desks. This encourages employees to think more about the waste they are throwing away and where it is going.

Final words

There are so many great articles out there highlighting the best planet-conscious changes you can make for your business, as well as the benefits.

However, we hope that by following our tips you can take a few simple steps and start reducing your carbon footprint. No matter which changes you make, be sure to encourage your employees and clients to jump on board with you. The more we spread the word, the more we will see positive change in the construction industry for our planet!

Coronavirus advice for employers

This hub page complies all the latest government coronavirus updates. It includes what you can and cannot do in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, workplace advice from multiple sources, including information on welcoming staff back to the workplace and the latest vaccination information.

It also contains a host of useful external links and resources to find further information.

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Nigel Dupree
Nigel Dupree
1 month ago

Probably a good idea and keep you busy until the “Human Consciousness” kicks-in although FM does need to sort out the workplace as, still to many workplaces causing “Sick Building Syndrome” and far from providing a “Basic Set of Given Conditions” for the occupants to optimally survive let alone thrive in and go home safe. Ventilation all of a sudden hit the top of the priority list after years on the back-burner along with Day / Work Lighting and expediently ignoring the 1998 PUWER Act and pretty sure going to expediently take a “I see no ships” approach to 2019… Read more »