How To Reduce Your Business’ Carbon Footprint

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There has never been a more appropriate time to work to reduce your business’ carbon footprint. With increasing pressure on all of us to act sustainably, many companies are looking for new ways to go green. Below are some ideas of ways you can work to make your business more environmentally friendly.

Tax Incentives For Sustainability

Governments are increasingly using tax incentives to promote green behaviour among businesses. This means that by acting with the environment in mind, you could be rewarded. When you and your company make eco-friendly changes, such as buying sustainable technology for your business, you can benefit from certain tax exemptions or relief.

However, the opposite is also true. If you are failing to change the ways of your business and don’t acknowledge how you have a worsening carbon footprint, you may be charged. Landfill tax has recently increased (see Sunak’s 2021 Autumn Budget) meaning you will pay more if your business gets rid of waste using landfill sites, or if you get rid of waste at sites not authorised for landfill. 

Electric Company Cars

If your business has company cars and racks up miles on the road regularly, one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to switch to electric. Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and demand is rising with growing environmental concern. The most popular electric company car of 2021 is the Nissan Leaf. In April 2021, the UK Government (in their Spring Budget) introduced new benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rates. This means company car drivers of 100% electric company cars pay just 1% BIK. 

Commuting Changes

One of the easiest ways for employees to reduce their own carbon footprint is to switch to environmentally friendly methods of transportation for their daily commute. Walking is the obvious option, but there are plenty to choose from. The UK Government’s Cycle to Work scheme provides employees and their employers with certain benefits. The scheme has involved over 40,000 employers across the country and has contributed to helping more than 1.6 million commuters cycle to work. 

Additionally, the recent rise in electric scooters, from operators such as Lime and Voi, in government-approved trials has created a new way to get to work. Just as quick, if not quicker, than cycling, these scooters are battery powered and therefore do not produce any bad emissions. 

Office Changes

Small changes in the office can make a big difference. If you have an office, one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to use LED lighting. LEDs use less heat to produce more light, and they cost less. This is an obvious switch! Just like in our homes, our offices would also benefit from smart meters. Smart meters give you real-time information on your energy usage. This means that it can be monitored and controlled accordingly. It also allows you to see what times of day you use the most energy, and what it is used on. 

It is also important to be conscious of the appliances you run in the office. Many appliances are left running overnight. Set reminders for the last person to leave in the evenings to do final checks and ensure that everything is switched off, or activate sleep mode if they can not be shut down.

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Investing

ESG investing is investing in that which is environmentally sustainable (or addresses social factors such as human rights and diversity). This can mean investing in a company that has great green credentials or scores highly on environmental and societal responsibility. 

Before investing, ensure that you have done your research into the company’s carbon footprint and sustainability efforts. You need to be asking whether they use renewable energy sources throughout their entire supply chain, manufacturing, and delivery process. 

ESG investing does not just benefit you and your business. Big corporations with responsibility are encouraged to do more for the environment and pay attention to the climate crisis. 

If you want to find out more about how to manage your finances when greening your business, talk to us

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