Starting your journey towards becoming more sustainable can be a daunting prospect, but with pressure mounting on businesses and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint, there's no time like the present.
Making tangible progress isn’t about trying to save the planet overnight, but it’s worth giving your business some realistic goals to work towards. Read on to discover five of our most achievable quick wins that you can commit to. Hopefully, these simple steps will inspire you to explore further measures that help you run a more eco-friendly business and contribute towards creating a more sustainable future.
1. Work out your company’s carbon footprint
Understanding the carbon footprint of your business is a great place to start. Once you’ve established this output, you can work out appropriate methods of reducing it over time. Your carbon footprint is defined as the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with all the activities of your business.
Perhaps the simplest way to unearth an accurate measurement of your carbon footprint is by partnering with an organisation that specialises in doing this for businesses, such as ClimatePartner. It audits your carbon footprint to give you a much clearer understanding of your company’s impact on global warming, and how you can improve.
For example, our audit showed that 60% of our emissions were produced by employee commuting. We responded by starting to swap our fleet of diesel cars for a fleet of electric vehicles, and all Nimbus employees now have access to an electric vehicle (EV) scheme. Driving an electric car can save an average of 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per year, compared to the equivalent usage of a petrol or diesel car.
Eco-friendly hosting your clients will love.Our clients have seen their sites’ carbon footprints drop by up to 92% after switching to us.
2. Devise a plan to reduce your carbon emissions
Create a plan with a hierarchy of achievable actions that will reduce your emissions, and start with the top priority. What will make the biggest impact? Switching to a greener energy supplier is a quick win with a hugely positive impact.
Review other service providers you use to find out how planet-friendly they are, such as your website hosts. Given that 50% more carbon is produced by the internet compared to the aviation industry, it’s a bigger contributor to climate change than many people realise. Our green web hosting service is run entirely on renewable energy, and our clients cut their carbon emissions by an average of 92% when they switch to us.
Smaller changes also combine to make a big difference. Consider using energy-efficient light bulbs throughout your office, and ensuring all your recyclable office waste is recycled. You can also sign up to schemes that recycle old computer equipment by refurbishing it for use in schools and for charity projects.
3. Set up an internal climate change group
Securing the support of your staff along your company’s green journey is a crucial step towards success. Team buy-in and ownership of sustainable business practices will help to embed them into the business.
Set up a climate change group that encourages your staff to be the internal champions of sustainability. Through periodic meetings, they’ll become your sounding boards, idea generators, and the decision makers that propel your green agenda forward.
Employees are more environmentally conscious than ever, and many will welcome the opportunity to make a positive impact in this way. Giving staff this opportunity to invest in their company’s mission will help them feel more connected to it, and more optimistic about its growth potential and future success.
4. Develop carbon offsetting initiatives
Carbon offsetting is a key part of becoming a more sustainable company. In the current business world, it’s impossible to reduce the consumption of everything that contributes to climate change, and the internet – upon which business relies so heavily – is a huge culprit here.
In simple terms, offsetting supports the removal of CO2 emissions to the same degree as those you generate. If you’ve partnered with a carbon-calculating company like ClimatePartner, you can select from numerous established offsetting initiatives, but you can be creative and choose your own too.
To generate stronger, long-term value, immerse your business in these initiatives, rather than simply paying for them and forgetting about them.
Tree planting is a popular initiative, as trees absorb carbon emissions, but it’s not a perfect solution. We recommend looking at other methods contributing to carbon savings that go further, whether that be abroad or closer to home. Whatever you decide, involve staff when selecting offsetting initiatives, and find some that fit your company culture.
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5. Internal and external communication is key
If your aim is to make sustainability a pivotal part of your business – and we recommend that you do – keep it at the forefront of employees’ minds. Regularly communicate what your plans are, the progress you’ve made, and give staff every opportunity to get involved.
Every sustainability win is a positive talking point you can share with clients and prospects in meetings, conferences, and sales pitches. Spread the word across your marketing materials and social channels too.
Working towards creating a more sustainable future demonstrates to clients that you’re invested in a higher purpose than simply delivering services. And by investing in your agency, they too are helping to save the planet. Perhaps having that conversation may even inspire them to take their own positive climate action.
At Nimbus, we’re proud of our ambitious sustainability initiatives and our green web hosting services. If you’d like to find out more, head over to our green hosting page on our website.