All eyes are on COP26 (the UN Climate Change Conference) in the media – for good reason – it’s a crucial climate change event, bringing together parties to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
But what does it mean for your business, and what can you be doing to help our planet?
Why is it important for businesses?
- More and more research is showing that the public is increasingly concerned about Climate Change. UNDP climate vote results show that 73% of respondents in the UK supported investment in green businesses and jobs, and 72% supported making companies pay for pollution. Creating a sustainable business would help customers to choose you over your competitors, plus there is evidence that consumers are more willing to pay a premium for sustainable products and services.
- The groundswell of public support is also causing governments to sit up and take notice, and there is growing political momentum behind the delivery of real and lasting change. Keeping a close eye on COP26 should give us all an insight into future regulation which will affect us all.
- Employees are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of their employers, especially the younger generation. Research by Censuswide showed nearly two thirds of respondents said they were more likely to work for a firm that had strong environmental values.
According to government data almost a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions come from businesses.
What can we do to make our businesses more sustainable?
According to government data almost a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions come from businesses. Kingston First has been helping businesses with their recycling through First Mile, but what else can you do?
- Use sustainable products
Using natural cleaning products keeps toxic ingredients out of streams, and using recycled toilet paper, or printer paper, maintains a circular economy and reduces overall waste.
- Make use of second hand furniture
Find some perfect vintage pieces to deck out your office or restaurant, or opt for recycled furniture.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Always reduce first – avoid disposable cups/cutlery/coffee pods etc where possible. Make it easy for employees to share documents digitally rather than printing out.
- Ensure you are reusing what you can; print on two sides of paper, reuse that cardboard box one more time.
- Recycle everything else! First Mile can help, and consider donating to charity rather than binning.
- Get renewable electricity and carbon neutral gas. It doesn’t have to cost more!
- Use sustainable packaging
Recycled paper and cardboard, or even better, compostable packaging, could help consumers choose you over your competitors.
- Offer remote work and encourage greener travel
If appropriate for your business, allowing employees to work from home reduces cars on the road, idling in traffic, and therefore carbon dioxide emissions, reducing your companys’ overall carbon footprint. If not possible, get your workforce behind your initiatives, and encourage them to use more environmentally friendly transport where they can.
- Switch your light bulbs
LED lights are more expensive up front, but last longer, and use far less energy, plus don’t contain toxic materials like mercury.
We’re working hard on making changes here at Kingston First, let us know how you get on with your sustainability agenda at firstname.lastname@example.org, and don’t forget to let your customers know about your hard work too!