Take the First Steps towards a Greener Business

September 14, 2021

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A certain muppet once said, ‘it’s not easy being green’. Whilst it’s safe to say that Kermit probably wasn’t talking about the challenges of running a sustainable business, this sentiment will no doubt ring true for many companies up and down the island.

With the climate crisis looming in the not-too-distant future, moving towards greener ways of working no longer seems like an added bonus, but a moral obligation.

After a difficult year for businesses, it can be tempting to put issues of sustainability on the backburne. Around two-thirds of businesses don’t currently consider a net-zero target a high priority in the wake of the pandemic; many businesses are focusing on recovering from the past year of chaos. Yet with immediate action needed to stop global warming, businesses need to take action sooner rather than later. So, if your business is looking to take its first steps towards greener ways of working but doesn’t know where to start, here’s 5 ways your business can go greener today.

 

Adopt an Electronic Signature

If you’re looking to make your signature collection greener, then adopting an electronic signature is definitely the best place to start. For many businesses, collecting signatures is a vital part of their daily operations. From legally binding contracts to internal sign off processes, putting pen to paper provides a written confirmation of agreement or approval.

Yet paper-based processes are hardly a friend to the environment. Paper production contributes to deforestation, chemical pollution, and water waste, not to mention the greenhouse gases it releases into the atmosphere. Paper consumption and waste, therefore, contributes massively to a company’s carbon footprint.

We know that businesses will always need documents and signatures to function. But there is a way of eliminating the paper part. Implementing an electronic signature across your business can help you reduce, if not entirely eliminate, your business’s paper consumption. Say goodbye to printing out paper documents; an electronic signature allows you to sign and send them digitally. This not only allows you to reduce paper waste but can also increase your business’s operational efficiency.

 

Switch to Cloud Hosting

For many businesses, one of their biggest energy drainers can be on-site hosting. Private data centres require a lot of electricity to power their servers and cooling system; electricity that is often generated through burning fossil fuels and releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

For businesses actively looking to decrease their carbon emissions and lower their carbon footprint, cloud hosting is definitely a switch you should consider. A 2018 study revealed that the Microsoft Azure cloud platform can be up to more than 93% more efficient and up to 98% more carbon-efficient than on-premises solutions.

Many hosting providers are taking active steps to reduce their own emissions, powering their vast commercial data centres with green energy, as well as constantly increasing their energy efficiency. Indeed, Microsoft Azure is carbon neutral and runs on 60% renewable energy. Making the switch from on-site to off-site hosting can therefore help your business reduce its carbon footprint and even help you on your journey towards becoming carbon neutral.

 

Increase Energy Efficiency

No matter what sector you work in, increasing energy efficiency not only benefits the planet but also your wallet. Whether you’re optimising your processes to waste less energy or insulating your office building to retain heat, identifying and fixing energy drainers can help you to reduce your business’s carbon footprint and save money on your energy bills.

There are many simple ways to save energy around the office. You can switch to LED bulbs that are  80% more efficient than halogens, install motion-sensor lights and reduce energy consumption by 35-45 percent, or simply turn down the heating by a degree or two.

For businesses that don’t know where to start, carrying out an energy audit in your office can help point you in the right direction, highlighting areas that could be improved and providing practical tips to solve issues. Increasing energy efficiency across your business will prevent you from wasting both gas and electricity, and in turn, the planets precious resources.

 

Switch to a Green Tariff

Perhaps one of the easiest ways of helping your business go green is switching to a green energy tariff. Although green energy was once on the fringes of the energy sector, it’s now a reliable and increasingly popular alternative to planet polluting fossil fuels;  green tariffs can now be found at nearly every energy supplier.

Whilst opting for a green tariff doesn’t exactly guarantee that your business will be powered exclusively by green energy, it does obligate your supplier to buy green energy on your behalf, increasing the overall proportion of renewable energy on the national grid.

Generated from inexhaustible resources such as solar, wind and water, renewable energy does not release any greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Switching to a renewable energy tariff will therefore decrease your businesses carbon footprint and ensure that you’re doing your bit in the fight against global warming.

 

Offset Remaining Emissions

The term carbon neutral is becoming increasingly popular in the business world, especially with the Isle of Man aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050. This is a challenging target for our Island, and if we have any hope of reaching it, businesses, not just individuals, need to pitch in and do their bit.

It’s all about balancing the carbon that’s released by us and absorbed by the planet so that we produce net-zero carbon dioxide emissions.

Even if your business does everything it should for the planet, it can still be difficult to reach zero emissions. That’s why many businesses opt to go carbon neutral and offset any remaining emissions by purchasing carbon credits.

This means that your business will make a financial contribution to carbon offset projects around the world, ranging from planting more trees to providing renewable energy to communities in developing nations. By doing this, your business can truly call itself carbon neutral, safe in the knowledge that any net emissions will be compensated for elsewhere on the planet.

 

5 Big Benefits of Going Green

Moving towards greener ways of working often comes at a cost for businesses, so it’s only natural to wonder what’s in it for you specifically. Besides doing your bit for the environment and generations to come, going green can benefit your business in a number of ways:

Appeal to Customers

With more people than ever thinking about their impact on the planet, consumers are increasingly choosing brands that operate sustainably. A study carried out by SmartestEnergy found that 81% of consumers preferred to buy from sustainable businesses. Going green can therefore help you appeal to an increasingly environmentally-conscious customer base.

Attract the Best Talent

Your consumers aren’t the only ones who care about the planet; your employees will also have their concerns. Research reveals that 60% of UK job hunters would look at a company’s sustainability commitment before accepting a position, with 34% of millennials refusing to work for a company that harmed the planet. Committing to operating sustainably can therefore help your business attract and retain the best talent.

Generate Good PR

Doing positive things for the planet often attracts positive attention. You can advertise your sustainable business practices in marketing materials, using your new green credentials as a unique selling point for your business and helping to set you apart from the competition. This can help generate an overall positive perception of your company.

Long-Term Savings

Many businesses can often be put off by the cost of going green. Whilst implementing sustainable practices will require an upfront cost, this often represents a long-term investment and results in future savings. Things like LED bulbs, improvements to energy efficiency and even solar panels can pay for themselves in the long run, allowing your business to benefit from savings.

 

Why Elite Group IOM?

 

 Carbon Neutral Cloud Hosting

Here at Elite Group IOM, we’ve decommissioned our energy-guzzling data centre and migrated all our services to the cleaner, greener cloud. We use Microsoft Azure as our chosen cloud provider- and can pass on this carbon-neutral hosting to you and your business.

 Tech Experts on the Case

We pride ourselves on our expert team, offering the very best engineers, as well as dedicated account management. You can count on us for a smooth transition to cloud computing, allowing your business to operate more sustainably, without the hassle of managing hosting yourself.

 Locals for Locals

 Our ‘locals for locals’ approach ensures we always deliver a bespoke service that truly works for you and your business. We’re experienced in deploying tech solutions to businesses across the island and are truly invested in making our home and the planet a better place.

 

Elite Group IOM is one of the island’s leading IT and unified communication providers, supplying reliable, professional and environmentally friendly cloud hosting solutions to local businesses. 

For more information on how Elite Group IOM can help you take the first steps towards a greener business, contact us today.