26 May Pruning costs by thinking green
A guest blog by Clare Taylor at Clare Taylor Consulting.
- How can being greener help your business?
- Where can savings be made?
- What can an environmental policy do for you?
Green policies and practices make sound business sense and help you to save money from your bottom line, raise your profile and equip yourself to compete in the new world of work. To make savings, the starting point is measuring to understand where your money goes.
Energy – businesses can save up to 15% of energy costs*
A significant amount of energy is used for simply running a building full of people, and savings can be made that are independent of the amount of work going through. Good areas to look at are heating, particularly preventing heat losses or waste, cooling and lighting.
Older buildings can be very costly to heat, but simple measures such as draught proofing not only make them more comfortable but also cut your bills. Canny use of controls on boilers and air conditioning can also cut energy waste.
Waste – businesses can save as much as 25% from the total cost of waste**
Waste costs more than just disposal costs – even if you’re being paid for paper recycling, it won’t cover what you’ve paid in purchase and processing costs. The best savings are therefore from prevention, and ways of managing workflows that help you deliver quality will also help you prevent waste.
For unavoidable waste, reuse or recycling is cheaper than paying for disposal. Suppliers may take back containers, there are many waste companies who offer recycling and Local Authorities offer a range of business waste recycling services. A waste audit will help, and some government bodies, as well as waste companies, offer this service.
Water – savings on water can be as much as 30%***
Savings can be made on more than just process water used. There are opportunities for reducing domestic water consumption too, which, unless you have very few staff, can quickly pay for themselves.
Policy and promotion
Your environmental policy is your mission statement – stating what your goals are and acting as a framework for action. The action plans behind it, results of measuring and evidence of progress can also be used as the basis for raising your profile: for example, entries for environmental awards.
Customers with environmental programmes of their own will often only add printers to shortlists or preferred customer lists if they have green credentials of their own. It’s not a guarantee of work, but an effective door opener. Being known for what you are doing also helps here and, particularly for companies whose work is mainly local, entering local green business awards can be a very effective way of achieving this.
Strong environmental programmes will help you punch above your weight by reducing bottom line costs and by taking you above the crowd – but you have to work at shouting out what you are doing as well as at having something to shout about.
* Source: Carbon Trust Printing case study CTS094 “We estimate that the sector could cut its energy bills by 15% through basic energy saving measures.”
** Source: 2Degrees Sustainability Essentials: Zero Waste “The true cost of waste is often 3% to 4% of revenues, and it is generally possible to save around 25% of this.”
*** Source: WRAP Saving money through resource efficiency: Reducing water use “Water costs can be between 1 and 2% of a company’s turnover. Savings between 30 and 50% can be achieved by investing in no- and low-cost water reduction techniques and technologies.”