Ghana’s greenhouse gas emissions have grown by 20% over the last 20 years. Land-use change alone accounts for over 50% of the country’s emissions, a stark figure.
However, the government has pledged to reduce emissions by 15% over the coming decade. Part of this change begins with business practices and with world overshoot day falling earlier and earlier it’s more important than ever that businesses go green. This article is about how small businesses can reduce their carbon footprint.
Long term changes
Making long term changes to our businesses and properties sounds like an overwhelming prospect but it can be quite simple. In fact, many green practices come with the added benefit of saving you money in the long run. For example, switching all of your lights to LEDs is one of the easiest and most effective ways of going green. LEDs use 90% less power and last longer than older halogen bulbs. They’ve become so cheap that you’re practically throwing away money by not using them.
Remote working has become a necessity in recent months but that may not be entirely bad. The practice has a number of benefits to productivity, mental health and the environment. Each day your employees don’t need to perform a daily commute, they’re lowering your business’ carbon footprint. Worldwide, the practice has the potential to reduce emissions by over 50 million tonnes per year. Depending on your industry, there may be cutting-edge technologies and practices you can take advantage of. The construction industry has historically produced gargantuan amounts of waste. Experts are now looking at this waste as a resource in and of itself that if recycled, could cut costs considerably while also benefiting the environment.
Daily workplace practices
There are many ways to make our daily lives greener around the office. While the digital age has relieved us of our dependence on paper, it still plays a prominent role in office life. Switching to recycled paper will have a huge effect over time. Similarly, reducing your packaging where possible or switching to post-consumer waste (PCW) alternatives will ensure that your packaging is truly 100% recycled. Because the definition of recycled is poorly defined in regulation, even if you search for products with the recycled symbol you can’t be sure of what you’re getting unless it’s 100% PCW.
Replacing older, less efficient appliances and machinery with newer models is a good step. However if you decide to do this, make sure that what you are replacing is recycled or reused. Where electronics are concerned, proper disposal is imperative. The materials used to produce them are incredibly harmful to the environment. At the same time, these materials remain valuable to manufacturers making recycling even more important.
Today’s consumers are putting an increasingly significant value on business’ green credentials and in order to compete you’ll likely have to put in the effort. However, making changes doesn’t have to be hard. Many of the most effective changes cost nothing and others can even save you money in the long run. Replacing lights with LEDs and encouraging remote working can reduce financial strain on your business while benefiting the environment at the same time.
Author: Briana Hilton