How to make your business environmentally friendly
By Varun Bodhi
From devastating bushfires in Australia to scorching heat in Siberia, the effects of climate change are being felt every year across the globe with no means of slowing down.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, as of 2021 there have been record atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations which has sent our planet into uncharted territory.
As a business, we all must recognise that one way or the other we contribute towards climate instability and the more effort we place into being environmentally conscious, the longer we preserve Earth and fulfil our responsibility.
Here are a few simple initiatives on how to make your business environmentally friendly.
Make remote working an option
Although the lockdown restrictions that came from the Coronavirus were very draining over an extended period, one of the first major improvements many countries experienced was the reduction of air pollution.
The immense drop in nitrogen dioxide came as a result of minimal travelling via public transport and cars which performed wonders for the environment. This was reflected by the PNAS which reported an approximate 60 percent drop in particulate matter levels during the early lockdown stages in 2020.
To maintain the economy and to ensure society continued productivity, remote work had become the new norm. Businesses quickly realised that employees were able to still work without needing to come into an office and still monitor their progress in a remote setting.
Although a permanent remote work setting can be draining and a potential long-term issue due to problems such as Zoom fatigue, burnout syndrome and cybersecurity concerns, having the option available can be a great start towards reducing your emissions.
Servcorp’s Virtual Office is a prime example of enabling remote work whilst maintaining productivity and utmost professionalism in a non-office environment.
Choose a green business to work with
When expanding your business, seeking new partners or finding a new location for your operations, do some research to ensure your options are environmentally friendly.
For Servcorp, this is done when choosing our locations.
Our North Sydney location has a 5 Star Green Star Rating and a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating. The building has been highly efficient in managing greenhouse gasses since its upgrade in 2008, which included the installation of tri-generation technology. The commercial tower has since been acknowledged for its efforts, having received two awards for its sustainability and environmental impact in 2009.
Its fittings, sensors and flow reducers allow for reduced water consumption, while the organic response LED lights significantly reduce energy usage. Our floor also provides recycling facilities to eliminate as much waste as possible.
Designing your products around a sustainable model is a challenging but rewarding process.
Although at times it may be nearly impossible to blueprint an environmentally flawless product, the aim is to get as close as possible.
Using materials which can be recycled and selecting natural ingredients is a strong start as it keeps out any toxic waste from landfills. Identifying suppliers which align with this framework will further reinforce these efforts.
Businesses which sell and ship products can utilise the same approach towards the packaging of products. Packaging is responsible for just over 40 per cent of total plastic usage, placing it as the largest end-use market segment of the resource.
According to Our World in Data, each year the globe produces more than 380 million tonnes of single use plastic, which often ends up either polluting our natural environment and oceans. Plastic bags are the most notorious when it comes to waste, with more than 500 billion being produced annually and its average lifespan lasting 15 minutes, its waste to usage ratio is alarming.
Minimising or eliminating your single-use plastic usage will equate as a major step in a greener direction.
Of course, there are many methods for a business to reduce its carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment, however not all businesses are at a stage or in the position to pick and choose their options.
The environmental impact each company has will differ and this will dictate the amount of effort as well as initiatives needed to offset their emissions. Whatever the size of the business may be, each one can make a change.
Here are some other options a business can consider depending on its scale.
- Buying a power purchase agreement (PPA). This is an electricity power agreement which is a contract between two parties, with one being the power provider and the other being a buyer. This can often be sourced from green energy providers.
- Buy carbon offsets from organisations. Many companies provide methods to reach the carbon-neutral status.
- Implement environmentally friendly programs. Examples of this can be introducing a compost garden at your work place, buying secondhand or recycled furniture instead of raw materials.
- Choose a green data host. Businesses can choose which servers to store their website data on, and there are many eco-friendly which can offset the energy used for storage.
Regardless of how big or small a business may be, we all have a part to play and each business will have its own unique journey.
The most important step is to start now.