Energy Matters

Sustainability for business | Tips for eco-conscious companies

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bestenergyJun 17, 2024

“We are running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.”- Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

Climate change is the biggest issue facing humanity today. Global warming has reached unprecedented levels - April 2024 was the warmest in recorded history - and urgent action is needed to protect our environment for the next generation.

The future of our planet depends on the sustainable practices we adopt today, and for the greatest impact, governments, businesses, and individuals need to join forces and work together in the fight against climate change.

So, with new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and net-zero targets being rolled out by governments, and individuals increasingly adopting green practices, it’s time for environmentally-conscious companies to develop and implement sustainable strategies too.

Sustainable strategies for your business

“We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.”- Barack Obama, Former US President.

Barack Obama

The devastating impacts of climate change are already evident. So, there’s no time to waste in making positive changes for a more sustainable future. We may not be able to do everything to be more sustainable, but we can all do something. So, here are some actions to kickstart your business’ sustainability journey:

  1. Set sustainable goals

Make it your mission to develop a formal sustainability strategy with clear and measurable goals for you and your employees to aim for. Track your progress regularly, share your achievements frequently, and hold your company accountable to your customers and the planet with public displays of your achievements and progress.

  1. Evaluate current practices

Review your current practices across your business, from supply chain and logistics to procurement and ICT. Process mapping can help you identify areas where you can streamline operations to enhance sustainability, whilst real-time asset-level energy monitoring can pinpoint exactly where you’re wasting energy and money, so you can target these areas and work towards becoming ISO 50001 accredited.

  1. Leverage technology

In our digital world, smart technology can measure your environmental impact accurately. Systems like Eniscope use AI-driven energy monitoring and cloud-based software to identify opportunities for energy efficiency, providing you with visual representations of energy waste. By making the invisible visible, you can make informed and data-driven decisions about sustainability.

  1. Focus on the low-hanging fruit

Long-term goals such as investing in renewable energy are important for decarbonisation. However, you can start with simpler actions and quick wins that make an impact now. Once you know where you’re wasting energy with the help of an energy monitoring system, you can begin to improve energy efficiency with simple changes like LED lights and motion sensors.

  1. Educate yourself and engage employees

Research sustainable business practices, network with your peers, and explore what competitors are doing. We can all learn from each other and share best practices to minimise our harmful impact on the planet. After educating yourself, pass on your knowledge to your team and set a good example. You could work towards becoming an EnCO Registered Business by introducing behaviour change initiatives to support your net zero targets, or even introduce annual volunteer days so that employees can participate in green initiatives, making them integral to your sustainable strategy.

  1. Promote hybrid working and sustainable practices

Enabling your staff to work from home and encouraging hybrid meetings significantly reduces travel-related carbon footprints, while saving time and money. When travel is necessary, encourage more sustainable options such as car-share schemes, cycling, public transport, and electric vehicles. Businesses can also make a substantial impact by reducing, reusing, and recycling resources such as paper.

Benefits of sustainability for business

Sustainability for business

The impact of sustainable business practices on the planet is both meaningful and measurable. Carbon emissions can be monitored, waste can be calculated, and reductions can be seen. But sustainable business practices offer numerous advantages beyond environmental impact reduction. Here are some key benefits for companies:

Reduces costs and boosts profit margins

Sustainable business initiatives can lead to significant cost savings and increased profit margins. For example, Unilever’s investment in efficiency initiatives and renewables reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by around 88,000 tonnes, with a return on investment of 300% and savings of $440 million! Energy efficiency practices reduce overall energy consumption, saving on utility costs, while often leading to cost savings in other areas too, such as water conservation, waste reduction, and more efficient use of raw materials - ultimately improving the company’s bottom line.

Increases customer loyalty and brand reputation

Adopting sustainable business practices enhances corporate social responsibility and brand reputation. Consumers are more likely to support businesses that align with their values. So, ethical responsibility, real action toward sustainability, and a commitment to sustainable business practices will enhance customer trust, loyalty and satisfaction, making them feel good about supporting a company that cares about the environment.

Attracts and retains talent

Employees, especially younger generations, increasingly value sustainability in the workplace. Businesses with strong sustainability strategies attract more engaged employees who are passionate about making a difference. A commitment to sustainability can foster a positive corporate culture, where employees are proud of their workplace and motivated by shared values, leading to higher job satisfaction, increased productivity, and a more cohesive work environment.

Enhances innovation and competitive advantage

Sustainability challenges us to think creatively and innovatively. By adopting eco-friendly strategies, businesses can develop new products, services, and processes that differentiate them from competitors; meet the growing demand for eco-friendly options; and become more resilient by reducing dependency on finite resources so they can continue to operate successfully in the future.

Compliance with regulations

Adopting sustainable business practices will help you stay ahead of regulatory requirements. This means you could benefit from government incentives designed to promote environmental responsibility. By embracing sustainability, your business can contribute to global efforts to combat climate change, aligning with international goals such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Implementing sustainable business practices is not just an ethical choice; it’s a strategic one with a broad range of benefits. By embracing sustainability, your business can:

  • significantly reduce its negative environmental impact
  • play a crucial role in the fight against climate change
  • improve its operational efficiency
  • reduce overheads and increase profits
  • build stronger relationships with stakeholders
  • ensure long-term success and resilience.

Every action counts, and together, we can create a more sustainable future for generations to come. So, start your business’ journey to sustainability today with an intelligent AI-driven energy monitoring and targeting system at the heart of your sustainability strategy.

Discover what Eniscope could achieve for your business.