As the impact of climate change becomes more visible in our world, there’s never been a better time to take action and make some sustainable changes to your business – however big or small your company is.
Going green doesn’t have to be costly – you can make some simple switches to your business technology and reduce your carbon footprint. Hey, you may even save time and money while you’re at it.
Consider more remote working.
Of course, many offices have shut their doors as employees were asked to stay and work from home during the pandemic.
However, many companies are now pledging to make a permanent shift to remote working, as over 80% of employees claim that they would be more loyal to their companies if they had flexible working options.
It is no secret that cutting out the commute can reduce the number of emissions. An estimated 3 million tons of greenhouse gases are avoided each year due to the 3.9 million people working remotely for at least half the time.
There’s also something else to consider – the running of big offices. Global Workplace Analytics notes that office equipment energy consumption rate is twice that of home office equipment.
Send fewer emails.
The idea of having to read fewer emails and save the planet may be music to your ears.
Yep, that's right, emails have a carbon footprint – it takes energy to send an email.
A report by The Financial Times claimed that if every person in the UK sent one less email a day, it would save 16 433 tonnes of carbon each year, the equivalent to tens of thousands of flights to Europe.
Reduce the number of emails you send by being smarter with your communication and project management. Here are just a few ideas:
- Use Microsoft Bookings or Calendly to cut down constant back-and-forth emails to arrange meetings.
- Use Forms to collect data rather than an email thread.
- Use Planner or other project management tools like Asana, Monday and Trello so everyone is always on the same page and doesn't need to send messages and files unnecessarily.
Have a centralised shared area of important files for your company to reduce duplication of documents and additional cloud storage needs (which also has an enormous impact on our carbon footprint).
It's important to note that the report also said that the impact of emails is "small fry" compared to other areas we can improve on.
Turn on Spam Filtering – it saves 135 TWh of electricity per year. That's equivalent to 13 million cars off the road.
Use digital signatures.
Avoid printing out contracts and forms for people to sign with a pen and paper. Digital signage tools like DocuSign and Signable help you quickly and securely send over documents for signing to colleagues and clients.
You can also import a digital, legally binding signature into Microsoft Word.
Recycle old tech.
It's predicted that if we carry on using and throwing away our electronic waste, we could reach 120 million tons of electronic scrap by 2050.
E-waste is a huge problem – it's a danger to the environment, a waste of resources and toxic to many ecosystems.
We wrote a guide on how to recycle devices in a responsible way here.
However, why not think before you scrap it and see any local charities or organisations who would love free IT equipment?
Better yet, consider what you're buying before you buy the latest and greatest gadget. Ask yourself:
- How much of a difference will this make to your business? Is it worth the impact it’s going to have on the environment?
- Could you buy second hand?
- Is there a better model that costs slightly more but will last longer?
- How are you going to look after your tech to make sure it doesn’t need replacing for a long time?
Switch to an eco-friendly search engine.
Switching to an eco-friendly search engine like Ecosia helps you plant trees while you search.
Not only do their servers run on 100% renewable energy, but the money made from advertising goes towards planting trees that actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Support a green cause.
Speaking of planting trees, Singularitee is a member of Ecologi – a subscription that helps businesses and individuals remove CO2e from the atmosphere and grow a real-life forest.
We plant trees every month on behalf of each of our employees. You can see our forest here.
Of course, there are lots of other charities and not-for-profits out there that you can get involved with. Consider making a regular donation to your favourite.
Want some help choosing the right IT for your business? We're here to help. Contact a member of our team now.