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Become a Green Business

Customers are becoming more and more interested in the environmental background of products and services they purchase. Therefore, taking a few steps to make your business more green, is not only good for the environment, but it could also increase sales. Every day scientists are discovering more facts about global warming and educating the world. Customers are aware that human activity is slowly but surely impacting our planet. This is reflected in a 2014 world survey which indicated that 55% of consumers are willing to pay higher prices for goods and services from companies that have environmentally-friendly business practices.

At 1st Choice Waste, our aim is to reduce the amount of commercial waste which is sent to landfill. We sort all rubbish into what can and cannot be recycled and we also utilise a biomass boiler to further reduce materials sent to landfill. We are a great choice for companies in the Northeast trying to go greener. However, there is more your business can do than just hiring a green waste management company. 1st Choice Waste are experts in environmental practices so are happy to educate our clients on how to make their businesses as environmentally friendly as possible. This guide has picked out a few ideas which may inspire small changes which can make a big difference. For more information, call us on 01642 478 734

1. Encourage green travel

Cycle to workLeave the car at home and cycle to work, use public transport, or if neither of those is options, lift share with colleagues. Despite reminders that vehicles on the road are not good for the environment, the majority of the UK’s population still drives to work. It may be the only option if your office is not on a public transport route and too far to cycle, however, if there is another option, choosing not to drive now and again would be very beneficial.

As a business owner, there are many actions you can take to encourage your employees and any visitors to travel in an eco-friendly way. Firstly, if you are moving to a new location, it is worth considering a site with easy access via paths and bike lanes, as well as being on a bus route. You could then provide bike lockups to make cycling to work a viable option for staff.

Employees can be encouraged to walk, cycle, lift share, or transit by putting in place schemes. For those who are not used to leaving the car at home, they could be encouraged to just do a few days a week or even drive part way and walk the rest.

2. Work From Home Days

Working from home means no commute at all. With modern technology, working from home is more and more common. Video conferencing means business meetings rarely need to be face to face.

3. Reduce single-use plastic

The UK sends more to landfills than the majority of other northern European countries. You may think you are already good at recycling, however, more is needed to reduce the impact on the environment. We need to overthrow our addiction to throw-away single-use products. Read our previous blog post on going plastic free. This demonstrates the extreme end which may not be viable for your business however, it could inspire small changes which can be made.

A good example is not to provide single-use coffee cups or plastic water cups. Instead, you could encourage your employees to bring in their own reusable/refillable cups or provide mugs and glasses. You could also convert to warm air hand dryers in kitchens and bathrooms rather than using plastic towels.

4. Green Procurement

One of the most effective ways to make your business environmentally friendly is to integrate green procurement. This involves only sourcing goods and services that are produced and supplied in a sustainable fashion. Sourcing from local suppliers rather than those produced from afar is a good way to start. Some factors to look for when searching for green products include:

-Are they manufactured in a sustainable fashion?

-Do they contain toxic materials or ozone-depleting substances?

-Can they be recycled and/or are produced from recycled materials?

-Are they made from renewable materials (such as bamboo, etc.)?

-Do they have excessive packaging?

-Are they designed to be repairable and not throw away?

5. Reduce water and energy used

Reducing your water and energy use not only save you money but also helps conserve a valuable resource. You could reduce water use by fixing dripping taps, plumbing leaks, and installing low-flow toilets. You should also only buy appliances, such as dishwashers, which have a good energy star rating.

Globally, buildings account for approximately 30 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions. One of the many recommendations from the 2015 Climate Change Conference (COP21) was to cut emissions from homes and buildings by 50 per cent by 2030. To do your part in reducing the energy used, you should only install energy-efficient appliances and educate your staff on being energy efficient. This can be as simple as turning off lights when no one is in the room or light from the windows is enough. Leaving plugs in the socket as well as leaving machines on standby uses a lot of electricity. Getting in the habit of switching off and unplugging could make a worthy difference!

6. Recycle

Recycle at workLast but not least, it is important to recycle as much as you can. This is at the heart of our business aims and should be important to yours too. A lot of what is sent to landfill could have been recycled. A big one from businesses is electrical equipment. If your business is replacing electronic items such as computers, monitors, tablets, smartphones, etc. that are less than 5 years old, chances are they can be re-used by schools or charities in your area. Alternatively,

computer manufacturers such as Dell and HP have technology recycling programs that allow credit for trade-ins on used equipment. Make sure you remove all sensitive information from any devices before you recycle them. Keeping your surplus electronic equipment out of the landfill is a great way to help the environment.

As for the rest of your business waste, you should educate yourself on your local recycling policy. Provide your staff with separate bins and clear instructions. Hiring a green waste management company like 1st Choice Waste can make your business green. Find out more about our services by visiting our waste management page!

1st Choice Waste Management

1st Choice Waste Management provide green waste disposal for businesses. We do what we can to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, however, it is important that businesses take more responsibility to reduce their impact on the environment themselves. For any advice or information on our services, contact us today on 01642 478 734.