In July 2023, scientists confirmed that the month would end as Earth’s hottest month on record. In response, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said “the era of global warming has ended, the era of global boiling has arrived.” He urged global action on emissions, climate adaptation and climate finance.
Scientists are clear that humans are a contributing factor. Since 1880, the average global temperature has increased by at least 1.1c. * Each of the last three decades have been hotter than the previous. And our atmosphere, oceans, and land are warming.
As temperatures continue to rise, we can expect more severe and widespread effects. In the UK, that means warmer and wetter winters. Hotter and drier summers. And more frequent weather extremes.
Worldwide, we’ve already seen catastrophic weather events and wildfires. Warmer temperatures will mean more flooding, wildfires, and damage to marine ecosystems. And, as crop conditions change, we’re also likely to experience food scarcity.
The current rise in temperature is a result of pollution trapping sunlight. It acts like a greenhouse, causing the planet to warm and making weather extremes worse.
Despite the UN’s announcement, they say it’s “still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5c and avoid the very worst of climate change.” But they stress it’s “only with dramatic and immediate climate action.”
The UK Government has a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. And companies have a huge part to play. Regardless of whether you’re a global manufacturing organisation, or one-person service business.
With public opinion moving towards sustainability, it also makes good business sense. These days, more customers are looking for eco-friendly brands to buy from. So, taking steps to green up your business is good for the environment. But it’s also good for your brand image and competitive advantage.
Some Barnsley businesses may be eligible to join our Net Zero Accelerator. This offers free and intensive support to help reduce carbon emissions.
But we also have lots of online information and resources for those not eligible. Starting here with ten easy ways to make your business more eco-friendly.
Private transport is one of the world’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases. So changing the daily commute can have a big impact. And it has a positive side effect on employee health, wellbeing, and productivity.
Barnsley’s Active Travel Hub has great information and facilities. It’s located in the Transport Interchange in the centre of town.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Providing recycling facilities is a great first step towards making your business greener. These days, we’re used to recycling at home, so it makes sense to encourage it in the workplace.
Reduce your digital impact
You may think that digital systems have a minimal impact on the environment. But, in 2020, the BBC reported that the carbon footprint of our internet and digital systems was 3.7% of global emissions. Shockingly, the figure was equal to that of the airline industry. Worse still, it was set to double by 2025.
The reason is because our tech takes energy to produce and run. Data storage – even via the cloud – is on huge servers which need energy to run and keep cool.
Consider energy efficiency
Energy is a big business expense, so reducing consumption can be great for the bottom line. But it’s a double win as it’s also better for the environment.
Many companies on our Net Zero Accelerator looked into solar panel installation. If that’s not an option for you, consider using a green energy supplier.
Reducing the carbon footprint in your supply chain can help reduce your environmental impact. Choice of supplier and raw material procurement is an obvious step, but there are others.
When baselining your carbon emissions, suppliers fall into Scope 3 emissions. If you’d like to understand more, get in touch to chat about our Net Zero Accelerator.
Going paperless means using less paper and printer ink. It also means you’ll need less storage space, and there will be a reduction in waste.
When going paperless, remember to protect your data with good security software. And back up all your files regularly.
Many cleaning products now have natural alternatives. These are often safer for your health and better for the planet.
Packaging is a major part of the process for companies selling and shipping products.
But today’s consumers hate packaging material that ends up in landfill. They want to buy from brands offering sustainable packaging and will often pay a premium.
Employees are increasingly looking to work for ethical companies. And creating a green culture can lead to greater employee engagement and productivity.
10. Collaborate with your local community or an environmental charity
Part of a green culture can include supporting local community and environmental events. It’s great marketing for your company and helps with teamwork and employee engagement.
Doing an environmental assessment is a useful way to get started on your green journey. It will identify your current impact and allow you to set goals for the future. We offer Barnsley businesses help with this through our Net Zero Accelerator.
You can then check improvements by tracking and measuring progress against your goals.
Sharing your sustainability journey with others is a great marketing technique. The steps you take will interest employees, customers, and suppliers alike. Celebrate your successes and share how you’re helping the planet. But avoid green washing.
Finally, remember that every step, no matter how small, counts in the journey towards sustainability.
* Source: NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)
Get in touch with Kevin Steel
Business Development Manager, The Business Village
Phone: 01226 249 590