Climate change, the environment, global warming, emissions. These are all phrases once reserved for scientists and experts, but are now increasingly part of our everyday lexicon. And it’s a reflection of just how critical the current situation is, that these words and phrases are now so well recognised.

If you’re anything like us, your customers have already started asking about your environmental credentials. And research shows this is only going to become more of a factor in their decision making process.

Even though we’re bombarded with information on a daily basis, it’s still easy to lose track of the latest developments. And it’s even more difficult to see what your business can do to help.

That’s why we asked our energy partner, Schneider Electric, to give us five very straightforward hints and tips to help you take the first steps towards being a greener business.

1) ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’

Chinese philosopher Laozi introduces our first point in a very eloquent manner. But all he’s really saying is ‘just start somewhere.’

Every business, no matter how big or small, can do something to be more environmentally friendly. Whether that’s encouraging more recycling or providing a facility for people to store their bikes. It might not save the planet on its own, but starting to change the mindset of your staff is a good place to start – it’s cheap and easy too.

Taking these first small steps is also a great way to start getting buy-in from the entire company. Having the entire company, from the interns to the CEO, bought into your sustainability efforts, means that everyone is more likely to make the effort to increase the pace of change.

2) Understand your emissions and know your data

As we explained in our previous super hero themed blog (yep, that’s right), depending on your business, some emissions are unavoidable. For us it’s the cooling of our data centres. If we didn’t do that we’d be snookered.

So you need to know what your emissions footprint looks like in order to properly understand where you might be able to make reductions.

Often you’ll find big savings can be made that don’t have any impact on how you operate. But unless you really get to grips with the information you have, you’ll probably never know.

3) Update your infrastructure

In the majority of cases some of the largest savings can be made by updating existing infrastructure. Inefficient machinery, fuel hungry engines, or simple wasteful processes can all come together to have a pretty chunky impact on your business’s overall footprint.

This is an opportunity to be really innovative too. We partnered with Katrick Technologies on a world first system that could help us make a 70% energy saving on our data centre cooling system.

4) Set ambitious but achievable targets

With some reports already suggesting that listed companies in the UK will have to detail net zero road maps in the not so distant future, setting targets is likely to be something that all businesses will need to do sooner rather than later.

It’s a tricky balancing act though. You want to set targets that are ambitious and bring about real change. But you also want to make them achievable so that you can realistically measure yourself against them as time goes by.

Of course, companies like Schneider Electric can help you develop these targets.

5) Plan for the future

Saving the planet is a marathon not a sprint. We’re going to need to keep changing how we do things and bring sustainable thinking into how we make decisions, not just now, but in the future too.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help, get in touch.