Business and commerce are under increasing pressure to be more environmentally friendly in all areas. There is a particular emphasis on waste, energy, and water. The decisions and practices you make about these can impact hugely on customer perception of your company as well as having potentially significant savings to your bottom line.
Keeping your commercial property environmentally friendly is a commitment and goes far beyond switching lights off in rooms and recycling paper. Here are some ways to make your business greener:
Get an EPC
There are times when regulation requires a property to have an EPC, but they are useful beyond the legislation. An Energy Performance Certificate identifies the areas within a property where savings can be made and how.
EPC London look at your energy usage of lighting, heating, hot water, and other features depending on whether your property is classified as a simple or complex building. The Energy Performance Certificate gives a current asset rating – how energy efficient the building is – plus the asset rating that could be achieved if cost-effective measures suggested in the assessor’s recommendations are carried out.
Recommendations not only save money but increasingly, they offer greener, more environmentally friendly options. The suggestions include items such as
- Install a smart meter
- Have cavity wall insulation
- Increase loft insulation
- Install air conditioning
- Replace lighting with low energy light bulbs or motion-sensitive lights
- Install solar panels
Switch to a Green Energy Provider
Power costs are usually a huge chunk of the outgoings of a commercial premises. Whether it’s masses of lighting for a retail store or electricity to run machines in a manufacturing process, switching to a cheaper tariff can save significant amounts.
With greater pressure from the government and innovation and initiative from with the industry, there is now a much wider choice of energy suppliers offering renewable energy sources. With a little research or help from a professional “switching” company, you can find a green tariff that is cheaper or equivalent to your current tariff.
Install Solar Panels
There are some excellent reasons to install solar panels to your commercial property.
- Solar energy is the energy source with the least impact on the environment – no carbon emissions/greenhouse gasses, no pollution, no noise.
- Reduction in energy costs as you’re producing your own
- Applicable in any climate
- More efficient energy – less lost in distribution and storage
- Decent payback period (return on investment)
- Zero energy production costs after installation costs
- Energy production coincides with the times of maximum demand (on a normal daytime cycle)
- Inexhaustible supply
Something to note is that although there are no longer government grants for solar panels and the feed-in tariff scheme has ended, from January 2020 there is the Smart Export Guarantee.
Recycling is always the obvious thing that comes to mind when looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly. Of course, ensure you recycle according to the bins your local authority provides but also look into which other items you use in quantity that may be able to be recycled.
The main items to be recycled are paper and card, plastic, and food.
Other items to be considered are:
- Metal – most metals can be recycled, not just tin cans but cast iron, steel, copper, and tin also
- Wood – timber, floorboards, pallets, chipboard, furniture, and even splintered parts.
If you have room at your premises for appropriate collection containers, you can promote recycling by your staff for items not collected by the local authority such as: mobile phones, batteries, clothes, running shoes, corks, soft plastic bags, prescription drugs, and computer parts.
There are many charitable schemes in the UK that collect specific items for recycling or reuse as well as commercial recycling companies.
Use More Green Products
This is a wide area because much depends on the sort of business you conduct. Ideas include:
- switch to green chemicals for cleaning or employ a green cleaning service.
- Change your fleet vehicles to electric or hybrid vehicles
- Use sustainable packaging
- Introduce smart building technology
With some research, you will be able to identify specific initiatives directly relating to your business and its processes.
One last thing:
With increased focus in eco-friendly business practices, if you want to make or have made wholesale changes, you might consider LEED certification. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a worldwide green building rating system. It underlines your commitment to being a green business and will attract businesses and customers who are more demanding of eco-friendly evidence.
However, starting with a Commercial EPC is a fantastic start. Our friendly teams at EPC London, EPC Glasgow, or any of our other offices, are more than able to help give you the information you need to start your energy saving journey.