Guide To Going ‘Green’

21st September 2020

Clare Ward

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It’s safe to say that 2020 hasn’t been the luckiest year. From the Coronavirus pandemic to Storm Dennis, it’s been blow after blow. At this moment in time the whole of the Los Angeles skyline is red as fires burn their way through anything that comes in its way. This fire could be the most destructive in California’s history. There are currently four different fires burning at the moment in L.A.  which have  destroyed more than 116,000 acres so far. But this isn’t the only fire we’ve witnessed. We’ve had the horrific fires of Australia in the start of 2020 as well as the Amazon fires of 2019. All of these fires have one thing in common: climate change.

It has been no secret that climate change was, one day, going to have a physical impact on the world, one that cannot be ignored. We have known about global warming for decades and scientists have warned us time and time again. Some people have chosen to believe that global warming simply doesn’t exist, because they can’t see the proof of it’s existence. Well here it is.

The Coronavirus pandemic has been a nightmare, we were not warned, and nobody could have anticipated the pandemic and the effect it would have on the whole globe. Although we have been warned about global warming and we can anticipate what will happen if we don’t do something now. Even Prince Charles agrees.

As business owners or even just as humans, we all have a responsibility to be accountable for the amount of energy and fossil fuels we are using at home as well as in work. Nobody is expected to make massive sacrifices to reduce their carbon footprint, but even making a few small changed and being more aware of how much energy we are using can have a huge impact when large numbers of us do the same. We’ve compiled some ways in which you can monitor and reduce your carbon footprint.

  1. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Being aware of the ways that we consume everyday office items such as paper, food, drink, water, laptops, phones and packaging will have an impact on we reduce, reuse and recycle these items. For example, if you’re a business owner and you are going to buy new laptops or phones for your workforce, why not buy refurbished items? You will be presented with items that are just as good as brand new whilst reducing your carbon footprint compared to if you were to buy brand new (plus you’ll be cutting down on costs as refurbished items are often cheaper). You could also buy recycled paper instead of brand new. Encouraging your workforce to use a paper bin for recycling as well as a plastics bin for their waste plastics such as water bottles will also be a step in the right direction when trying to implement a greener office.

  1. Food waste

Check with your waste contractor if food waste collection is possible. Encourage your workforce to eat vegan or vegetarian options too as 18% of global emissions are associated with livestock agriculture.

  1. Do you really need to print that?

Asking yourself this question before you print, will often be followed by ‘No I don’t’. You can reduce your printing levels but using online tools for document signing which can be used safely for contract signing. As well as this you can use online tools to annotate a document instead of printing and writing on it.

  1. Heating & air conditioning in the office

Ensure that there is a timer on your temperature controls which also are according to the climate outdoors. Lots of energy can be wasted if heating and cooling systems are competing so contact your building management to ensure that this isn’t an issue for you. During the summer you could make use of installing window film which allows light in but reflects the heat back out, keeping your office at a cool temperature without the need of an air conditioning unit.

  1. Don’t be in the dark about your office lighting

Installing LED lighting can have a huge impact on your energy usage in the long-term and short-term. As well as using LED lighting you can also use motion sensors on your lighting so that after a while of there being no movement within the room, the lights will turn themselves off. This will reduce your electricity costs as well as reducing your carbon footprint.

  1. To commute, or not commute? That is the question

Do you need to be in the office 5 days a week? Or can you be present in the form of a video conference? And on the days that you really do need to be present in the office, are you using public transport? Being mindful of our modes of transport and the frequency of these commutes can also have an impact if we chose to make small changes. For example, this could mean using public transport one more time per week than what we currently do.

  1. Ditch the client meetings for video conferences

Cut out the need to travel and waste carbon emissions, as well as increasing your time efficiency. Set up a conference call on Zoom or Microsoft Teams to have that catch up with a client, leave the travelling behind.

  1. End of the day plug sweep

Did you know that the total electricity consumed by idle electronics equals the annual output of 12 power plants? At the end of the working day, switch off all plugs. Or you an change the settings on your computers to power down when they’re not in use. This can also be applied to your energy saving tactics at home too.

These are just a few of the hundreds of ways that we can monitor and reduce our energy usage and reduce our carbon footprint. Let’s make a difference now, before its too late. If you’re feeling generous you can also donate to help fix the damaged caused by the Los Angeles Fires. Here at Strategic People one of our missions is to practice being green to the best of our ability, and to encourage our candidates and clients to do the same too. If you’re looking for more ways as to how you could implement a greener office environment or ways to change things up at home so that you’re reducing your carbon footprint, you can contact us to find out more: [email protected] Equally, if you’re looking to hire or you’re looking for work, whether its short term assignments or a permanent role, get in touch for an informal, confidential chat and we’ll see what we can do for you! SP//

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