Three quarters of UK SMEs are worried about the long term impact of the rising cost of living according to a 2022 survey and this is not surprising. In the UK, the energy price cap has risen by a whopping 54% this year, putting us all under pressure to step up and afford the steep prices of gas, electric and oil. With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the knock-on effect of gas supplied by Russia, and an unstable post-pandemic economy, costs have continued to keep climbing.
What’s more, the UK Government is working towards becoming carbon net zero by 2050 meaning that sustainability is top of the agenda for many businesses – in fact, three quarters of British firms believe they have a role to play in delivering sustainable development goals.
We spoke to Nigel Ward, MD of Using Less Stuff to find out how organisations can be more environmentally responsible whilst making significant savings on energy costs.
Here’s what Nigel said:
When considering energy and ways to save costs / become more sustainable it is first important to look at your usage and take basic steps such as changing plans and tariffs. This is quite difficult in the current market however taking regular meter readings will provide a truer reflection of your expected outgoings so you can look at what financials need tackling.
It is also worth investing in looking at your carbon footprint. A carbon footprint calculator looks at energy, water, waste and transport to identify ways in which a business can not only cut costs but also become more efficient too. A detailed CO2 report is then usually provided with recommendations on how to become more sustainable and where to mitigate where you can.
Let’s look at energy cutbacks. This won’t solve everything, but will help reduce costs. For example, ensuring that all technology or lighting is turned off at the end of the working day, rather than put on standby, can reap huge savings. In 2020, a report highlighted that UK businesses were paying around £60 million per year in unnecessary bills due to energy being wasted by office buildings. In addition, you can look at simple switches such as LED lightbulbs or aerators to taps to help stop water being wasted. Or you can look in to renewable technologies such as solar.
We all have our part to play in the agenda to becoming carbon net zero and changing old habits into new sustainable ones will take time, however we all need to take responsibility. We need to change from only two or three people in a business worrying about how to ‘use less’ to every stakeholder taking action. It is about creating a culture change and educating others within the organisation on the environmentally considerate plans you wish to implement.
Using Less Stuff
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