Posted on: 19/09/2019
In this guest blog, freelance renewables and sustainability writer, Sarah Anderson examines why UK enterprises are choosing to future-proof their operations by going green – delving into sustainability best practice and government initiatives.
Over recent months, global disasters have made headline news, such as Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, flash flooding in Spain, Sweden, Iran and Morocco, and wildfires in the Amazon Jungle, Siberia and Portugal.
We’re witnessing rising sea levels, worsening ocean pollution and ever-increasing signs that the world is vulnerable to environmental threats.
That’s why it’s important to start living more sustainable lives by reducing our carbon footprints, switching to renewable energy and making more ethical choices.
While individuals play an important role in making more eco-friendly choices, it is businesses who will be the key drivers of the sustainable energy industry by using and promoting greener technologies and new innovation.
So, what does it mean to be a sustainable business in the UK and how are businesses becoming more energy sustainable?
The role of the UK government
The UK continues to pave the way when it comes to sustainability. We were the first major economy in the world to pass a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions law and are aiming to achieve this goal by 2050.
According to the UK government website, the combined help of businesses and individuals has already helped us to reduce our carbon emissions by 43% since the 1990s. This has been achieved mainly through reduced fossil fuel consumption, the promotion of building insulation and measures to promote greener forms of transport such as cycling or using public transport.
However, there is much work to be done if we want to safeguard our future and reduce our impact on the planet.
Benefits of green energy to improve business operations
It’s not just the environment that will benefit by opting for greener, more sustainable energy options.
Businesses will also reap the rewards when it comes to building their reputation, boosting branding, improving employee morale and lifting the efficiency, productivity and profitability of their business.
When businesses opt for more eco-friendly choices it shows that they are both ethical and forward-thinking. It helps them to appeal to a wider audience and attract the growing group of individuals who would prefer to buy from an ethical business. It also helps their business appear more trustworthy, whilst appealing to shareholders and investors who prefer businesses with strong green criteria.
Employees increasingly want to work for businesses who have strong green ethics too. This enables greater trust in the business’ vision and are makes them more likely to become long-term employees who share that vision.
How businesses are becoming more energy sustainable
Thousands of businesses across the world are turning towards renewable energy and other greener business practices in order to lower their carbon emissions, reduce pollution and decrease their impact upon the environment.
One of the most encouraging of these is an initiative known as the RE100. Comprised of a group of 100 major global companies, they are committed to switching to 100% renewable energy before 2050 or sooner if possible.
In addition to choosing these renewable energy options, many businesses are fighting back against climate change in other ways.
This includes fostering more energy-efficient practices, reducing their waste production, sourcing low energy alternatives, making more ethical spending choices, investing in commercial recycling equipment and reducing their emissions.
However, you don’t need to be a major company in order to make the kind of changes that can positively impact the environment. Nor do you need to have a huge budget at your disposal.
Businesses of all sizes can take steps to reduce their carbon emissions and take steps to set an example that others will follow. By making sustainable choices, opting for renewable energy and encouraging innovation in the renewables sector, business can be the ones to drive the change that makes a difference.
Sarah approached us to write a blog after discovering Adnams, an award winning brewery supplied with 100% renewable power by SmartestEnergy, which sparked her passion for companies reducing their carbon footprint.
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