One business-savvy place to start is by assessing and reducing your energy consumption. Electricity bills are rising everywhere in the world. So everything you do to use less energy helps both the environment and your budget.
Retrofitting your entire business to LED lighting will save significant amount of energy every year. The initial costs of this can mount up but they will pay for themselves in energy saved in the first two years, so that for the rest of the estimated 10 year life-span of an average LED light bulb you are saving money hand over fist! Check out any incentives offered in your area, either by the government or by the electricity providers. You may find that there are rebate schemes to support small or large businesses who commit to reducing their energy consumption.
The electricity consumed by signage can vary tremendously. If you have one small neon sign outside a shop, switching to an LED sign may not save more than a few pennies in electricity consumed. But if on the other hand your business uses multiple lightboxes, a raft of lighted signs outside and so on, sourcing LED signs and lightboxes to replace old ones will make a difference. Don’t forget to look at your EXIT signs as well. These can easily be replaced with LED versions.
Many energy saving practices cost nothing. Make sure lights are turned off when a room is not in use. Switch off all office equipment outside business hours or when not in use for long periods. Make use of natural daylight when possible to light workspaces. Switch off outside lights during the daytime. There are a host of small measures you can take to save small amounts of energy; lots of small savings add up to larger ones over time.
Most businesses will have their own particular energy guzzlers lurking; perhaps it is an old machine that still works but is less efficient that it could be; or an old fridge in the employees’ kitchen that ices up regular and needs de-frosting. Make a note to service machinery and appliances regularly, so that they are not straining and overheating, and replace older models with new energy efficient versions as soon as you have the budget available.
So start with just one, or all, of the suggestions above and your business will have taken its first steps towards being carbon neutral.