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.
Support from the Council
- 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.
- Further information on how the Council can support your business can be found on the South and Vale Business Support website.
Where can your business start?
You can improve your company’s emissions with small and large actions:
- Move towards a ‘circular’ economy business model – explore 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.
- Improve your company’s water efficiency – see Waterwise for tips for businesses.
- 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:
- Energy Solutions Oxfordshire (ESOx) – is a one-stop service for small and medium sized businesses in Oxfordshire to undertake energy efficiency improvements.
- 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.
- 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.