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What can your business do?

Businesses will benefit from reducing their environmental impact and being more sustainable by:

  • making cost savings from using resources more efficiently, such as cutting energy, water use and waste.
  • accessing new markets by developing sustainable products and services.
  • protecting reputation and credibility.
  • being prepared for future changes and policies.
  • attracting staff and improving morale – having a strong ethos of sustainability is increasingly important to employees.

Where can your business start?

You can improve your company’s emissions with small and large actions:

Reduce waste:

  • Move towards a ‘circular’ economy business modelexplore opportunities for reusing and renewing items.
  • Aim for ‘zero waste to landfill’ – reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and follow the waste hierarchy.
  • Move away from single use products – invest in glasses, mugs, crockery and cutlery in staff kitchens and catering.  Minimise packaging and work with suppliers to reduce the packaging they deliver to you.
  • Reduce paper – go paperless where possible, or consider using a sustainable printing service.


  • Reduce the need to travel – consider allowing staff to work from home or using video conferencing for meetings.
  • Promote sustainable travel – offer a cycle to work scheme, including providing bike racks and showers; convert company cars to electric ones, and consider taking the train to European destinations.

Save water:

  • Improve your company’s water efficiency – see Waterwise for tips for businesses.

Energy Suppliers:

  • Use cloud computing to significantly cut emissions from digital services.
  • Switch to a green energy supplier.
  • Consider installing renewable energy in your building, such as solar panels or heat pumps.
  • Here are some links for useful tips on energy efficiency:
    • The Carbon Trust has guides and tools to help, including sector and technology specific advice.

Develop a sustainability strategy this will help provide direction and a framework for achieving your sustainability goals.  Conduct a survey on your carbon emissions and use this information to plan how to reduce your emissions.  Take a look at Better Business’s tips, or see Corporate Citizenship’s guide.

Engage to create change:

  • With suppliers – work to identify and reduce the carbon emissions of your business.  Consider implementing a green procurement strategy.
  • With customers – tell them about your sustainability actions and get feedback on ways they would like your services to be more environmentally-friendly.
  • With other companies – to share ideas, find new markets, products and solutions.  Consider joining Oxfordshire Greentech to be part of a business network that will advise on reducing carbon emissions.
  • With staff – ask for their ideas about what the company should do, run internal campaigns to reduce waste and increase recycling.
  • With your local community – support local climate and wildlife groups by allowing staff time off to volunteer.

Support from the Council

  • Our business support pages offers sustainability advice and other useful pieces of information to run your business in South Oxfordshire.
  • We have partnered with Oxfordshire Greentech to support local businesses to reduce their carbon emissions.  Become a member to have access to specialist resources, business promotion, grant funding and more.  As the council is a member, you can receive 10 per cent off basic member rates. 

Go further

  • One Planet Living mini toolkit for small and medium-sized organisations will help you create a One Planet Action Plan that embeds sustainability within your organisation. 
  • Consider becoming a B Corp, a business that balances purpose and profit. B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers’ community, and the environment. 
  • Work to achieve a recognised an international environmental standard such as ISO14001.