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Study reveals most popular green measures for small firms

Study reveals most popular green measures for small firms

Study reveals most popular green measures for small firms

One of the decisions small businesses have to make when planning their environmental strategy is how big a commitment to make to the project.

There are all sorts of simple steps firms can take to improve their energy efficiency, but there are also bigger initiatives such as investing in renewable energy generation. What's more, businesses should think about their wider corporate social responsibility efforts and the green credentials of other organisations and service providers they are affiliated with.

 

According to a recent survey, the most common strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises looking to do their bit for the environment is to start small.

Business energy site Make it Cheaper conducted a survey of small business owners which found that the most common energy efficiency strategy is simply closing the windows in the workplace when the heating is on, with nearly half (47 per cent) of respondents making an effort to do this.

A similar proportion (46 per cent) had fitted energy-saving light bulbs and nearly four out of ten (37 per cent) used light sensors to ensure that lights are not left on in unoccupied rooms. Other relatively common approaches include using smart meters to more effectively track and manage energy consumption (29 per cent) and installing remote heating controls (28 per cent).

The research suggested that a considerable proportion of smaller firms could be doing more to reduce their impact on the environment. Eco-friendly initiatives could also help the company by cutting bills.

Nearly one in three companies (31 per cent) admitted they didn't take any extra measures to make their office space more environmentally friendly. Almost a fifth (18 per cent) said they gave no consideration to energy efficiency when purchasing new appliances and workplace equipment.

Nick Heath, head of energy insight at Make it Cheaper, reassured business owners and managers who are daunted by the prospect of making their workplace more efficient that it can be a fairly straightforward task.

Taking the example of switching business energy suppliers, Mr Heath said there is a "common misconception" that this is a complex and difficult process, when in fact it only requires a current meter reading and some personal details.

He added: "Many suppliers don't issue exit fees, and for those that do, the savings made by switching usually outweigh the charge.

"As well as exploring the option of different energy providers, there are many steps business owners can take to help create an energy-efficient workplace too. Conducting energy audits, switching to LED bulbs and rewarding eco-friendly staff are just some of the ways to help promote green culture in the office."

The research underlined how much businesses could benefit from reduced energy consumption, with nearly half (49 per cent) of the survey respondents spending more than £1,000 on gas and electricity bills each month. Seven per cent faced a monthly cost of more than £2,000, while 21 per cent didn't even know how much they were spending on energy.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/Olivier le Moal