As our relationship with the world changes every day, people care a lot more about the environmental impact with heightened social pressure on businesses to make an impact and reduce their carbon footprint.
For all businesses, including SMEs, there’s a sense of expectancy to ensure they’re doing everything they can to keep their carbon footprint and other harmful outputs to a minimum.
The 2022 edition of the Eurobarometer on small and medium-sized businesses revealed that 89% of SMEs are taking at least one step to reduce their carbon footprint, for example by using renewable energy.
Despite these promising statistics, many SMEs are still unaware of the small changes that can help to reduce their carbon footprint. Here are a few simple steps that SMEs can take to achieve Net Zero by 2050 and make a huge difference.
Start with the “easy wins”
Without too much planning or expense, there are a few steps that you can take to get started on your journey. Printing as minimally as possible, switching to LED lighting, replacing computers with laptops and ensuring all appliances are turned off at night are all easy steps that can contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.
Optimise heating and air conditioning
The major factors in energy consumption. The environmental impact can be lessened by implementing temperature control and ensuring any time controls are set correctly. The biggest energy waste happens when the heating and cooling systems are competing. Staff training can be beneficial in explaining why systems are set the way they are and the consequences of changing thermostats or opening windows when heating and cooling systems are on. Additionally, make sure the thermostat is controlled centrally, not locally.
Use renewable energy
This is an efficient change you can make right away. Switch to a new energy provider who specialises in using renewable and sustainable forms of power. Here are some good recommendations for green energy suppliers.
Join a carbon offsetting scheme
For those activities in your business that prove more challenging to find, joining a carbon offsetting scheme is a great way to make a positive impact. This means investing in projects designed to reduce current and future emissions. For example, you can invest in tree planting or the development of clean air technologies.
If this is something you would be interested in, have a look at these UK community projects.
Educate yourself and engage staff
Change cannot happen without knowledge. Education of managers, employees and customers is extremely valuable. You can start by having open conversations with your employees about company policies around sustainability. Additionally, making your customers aware of your strategy to reduce carbon emissions can help them to reduce their carbon footprint as well.
What are the benefits of reducing the carbon footprint for SMEs?
SMEs engaging in active efforts to reduce their CO2 emissions will not only have operational and financial benefits, but also credibility, positive perceptions and even wider network effects.
If you are ready to take the first step, we’re here to help you build a business model to reduce your impact on the environment. Our #NetZeroKnowHow FREE GUIDE will provide your organisation with useful information to achieve net-zero carbon. Subscribe and get your free copy of our guide.