The world is in the grips of an ever-growing climate crisis, as evidenced by the catastrophic weather events that defined the summer for many in Europe and the global South. As awareness continues to grow regarding the dangers of climate change, pressures are mounting for businesses and individuals alike to make their own changes, towards a sustainable future. As a business, how can you meet this pressure equitably?
The start of any shift towards sustainable business practice should be the drafting of specific environmental goals. Improving sustainability and reducing your business’ carbon footprint can be nebulous tasks if not given structure, and if you are unsure of how to approach carbon reduction you may benefit from a set of milestones to guide you.
These goals can start simple; you might decide you want to reduce your carbon footprint by a given percentage within a medium-term time frame. With a general aim, you can then start to focus in on more specific ambitions, such as decreasing your reliance on fossil fuels in certain parts of your business.
Shifts in Practice and Offering
For many businesses, the biggest carbon costs relate directly to the product or service in which they truck – whether manufacturing costs or ancillary processes in service of product and service delivery. A bespoke shift in your business’ practices and service range can help you directly tackle your carbon footprint, while potentially finding new demographics in the process.
For example, heating engineers and firms have centred their business model around the installation of natural gas boilers, which have been the primary mechanism for domestic heating for generations. Changes to legislation will soon outlaw the new install of such boilers, incentivising a transition to alternative heating systems.
Meanwhile, while electricians do not necessarily contribute heavily to carbon emissions, changes in product and service offerings can act as a greater good for the climate, while tapping into a new market. Training employees in solar panel installation over conventional domestic wiring can allow you to benefit from an upwelling of interest in sustainable energy generation and reduce the carbon footprint of the clients with which you work.
Waste is wasteful in more than one way. The resources spent on waste generation and removal are not just financial; there are also significant energy costs involved in the manufacture and disposal of said materials that are, by definition, wasteful.
By directly addressing waste within your business, you can streamline processes with efficiency and sustainability at heart. As a construction business, you might reconsider certain inefficient materials and processes if the waste burden is resultantly high. From a planning perspective, you might seek more effective forms of forecasting and procurement to reduce wasteful expenditure – especially when it comes to bespoke builds and manufacture orders.