With Earth Day approaching on 22nd April, now is a great time for us all to think about how we can help in the global effort towards sustainability and fighting climate change. While some larger, more affluential companies may be able to do more, smaller companies can also make changes to their business practices to help.
We have taken the opportunity to discuss some reasons to go green, a few policies that can be implemented in businesses, and also mention some we have adopted in our own office in an attempt to make the business more green!
Reasons to Go Green
Since the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 in Glasgow (COP26), some clear goals for the world at large have been outlined, and until COP27, the UK holds the Presidency. These goals include:
- Secure global net zero by 2050
- Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
- Mobilise finance
- Work together to deliver these goals
UK businesses accounted for about 18% of the total carbon footprint in the past year. While SMEs in some reports are claimed to be responsible for over 50% of that footprint. By pushing towards more sustainable business practices and reaching the goals set out by COP26, we can ultimately make an impact towards climate change, helping to safeguard the world for future generations.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model, which focuses on the accountability and moral practices of those businesses. This could be through philanthropy, contributing to the wellbeing of the local community, or integrating environmental concerns into the business’s operations.
A recent survey found that 71 per cent of consumers prefer to buy from businesses that align with their values, proving that CSR not only improves a company’s impact on the environment but also builds customer loyalty.
Some sustainability solutions can reduce costs in the short term and continues through the life of the business. Switching to a cleaner energy supplier, reducing electricity and water consumption, and changing to some more environmentally friendly product suppliers can also reduce expenses.
How Businesses Can Help
Smaller companies may be at a disadvantage with their sustainability policies because they may not have the money and resources to make drastic changes, however there may be some ways they can help. By making more small changes, this can add up to a noticeable difference. This can include:
- Using recyclable materials
- Encouraging employees to turn off equipment rather than leave it on standby
- Only boil as much water as needed
- Change old lightbulbs to energy efficient ones
- Buy from local suppliers
- Use non-toxic cleaning supplies
Larger scale companies may have more resources and financial stability to help them with their own sustainability efforts. With CSR being a positive in the eyes of the public, there’s no downside to their reputation or company interests, making some changes can only be a positive. Investigating the company’s carbon footprint and setting realistic targets is a good place to start. This can include:
- Implementing a cycle to work scheme
- Encourage bringing lunch in to reduce food and packaging waste
- Go paperless where possible
- Use eco-friendly office supplies, like refillable pens
- Switch to a green energy supplier
- Get creative and upcycle
- Plant trees and a garden
- Give back to your local environment and help your community
Our Own Policies
At AI Global Media, we have several policies in place to encourage a culture of sustainable practices, to both help employees individually and the company at large.
- Hybrid working – we offer all employees the chance to work from home 2 days a week, saving them fuel to get in the office, and having fewer people in the office means less energy used
- All lights on timers – throughout the office, all lights are on timers, and if no activity is detected, the lights will go off, reducing the electricity needed
- Recycling – we encourage all employees to properly recycle all waste throughout the office. With a sign specifying what is and is not recyclable for our area (this is important to note as some people may be part of another district where some items are not widely recycled)
- Less waste in our trophy sends – we have updated our packaging to reduce plastic and be recycled by the company or individual receiving the parcel
- Mostly digital presence – as a company we focus on having a strong digital presence, which would require us to use less paper waste
We realise that there is plenty more we could be doing, and we aim to add more initiatives in the coming years to help us achieve net zero, in line with the COP26 goals.