Editor’s note: MarketGreener has accepted some guest posts by the good folks at uSwitch, a utilities price comparison Web site aimed exclusively at businesses to help them save money on electricity. The next two posts are from uSwitch.

No-one can ignore environmental issues.  Most of us are becoming used to recycling at home and many consider ethical sources for food, clothing and other goods.  But business has been slower to catch on.  Is there anything you can do, as an individual employee, to make your workplace more environmentally friendly?  This practical guide gives you some ideas to make a difference at work.

Be practical
In the current economic climate, many people are more worried about their immediate financial position than the future of the planet.  If you want to make changes, you’ll need to offer practical reasons and plans.

You may have seen the TV advertisement being run by a major supermarket, showing how employees are getting involved in environmental schemes, which save the customer money on their shopping.  That’s the kind of reasoning people are likely to listen to.

Find out what is already happening in your organisation.

  • Do they have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy?
  • Are there any existing environmental initiatives?
  • Is anyone else already running schemes?

In order to implement new ideas, or expand existing schemes, you need to know what is being done already and if anything has been previously rejected, the reasons for that.

Think about what initiatives could be introduced which would be simple, or make a difference to the business.  Find out all the information you need to present to make the case.

Work out the business case for introducing/expanding environmental initiatives.
The boss will want to know:

What are the benefits to the business?

  • Cost savings, such as lower business energy costs
  • Anticipating compliance – voluntary best practice will make it easier when legislation forces business to act
  • Employee motivation and retention – research shows a correlation between high retention and a company’s values matching those of its employees
  • A better reputation – many consumers would prefer products and companies which have socially responsible credentials

Getting colleagues on board means thinking about the benefits for them, plus making things simple to do.  Any initiatives which demand extra time or disruption are likely to have limited success, whereas those which are simple to adopt will do well.

You may find information and ideas to help your plan at Business Link and Carbon Trust, including details of interest free loans for which your company may be eligible.

This article was produced by uSwitch For Business a utilities price comparision website aimed exclusively at business’s to help them save money on their electricity bills.