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How Businesses Can Reduce Their Environmental Impact: From Document Shredding to Energy Usage

Businesses are constantly thinking of ways to be better. Every year there are meetings and discussions regarding how to make more revenue, reach more clients or hire better talent. But how many businesses try to improve their environmental impact? From going paperless to switching energy providers. There are many ways we can improve our environmental impact to make our businesses better - both morally and financially.

If you are looking for ways to improve the company’s carbon footprint or save money on resources, you’ve come to the right place. This blog will discuss the many ways you can get started on reducing your environmental impact.

Keep reading to learn more.

Why is sustainability important?

By embedding sustainability into your corporate strategy, you will be able to reap many benefits that you may not be aware of. Here are a few:

-       Cost savings: You can save your business money through sustainability initiatives. For example, energy-efficiency practices, waste reduction and reducing supply chain emissions to minimise exposure to carbon pricing.

-       Risk management: Companies can identify and tackle reputational, financial, and regulatory risks by improving economic, social, and environmental stewardship.

-       Attract and retain talent: An IBM study found that 7 in 10 workers are drawn to, and will be more likely to stay with, employers with strong environmental sustainability strategies.

-       Competitive advantage: Incorporating sustainable practices means you can retain and grow market share, with low-carbon products. This helps to increase customer appeal using compelling sustainability claims. This creates a chain reaction, for example, manufacturers of finished goods are requesting suppliers like aluminium producers to disclose and reduce their emissions, who in turn ask their suppliers to do the same.

-       Future-proofing: To ensure your business is set to last a long time, you need to ensure the availability of resources and minimise your dependence on finite resources. You can manage this through sustainable practices such as embracing renewable energy, reducing water usage and pollution and promoting recycling of critical materials like copper and steel.

How to reduce your environmental impact

Improving environmental impact is a crucial focus for businesses seeking to operate sustainably and responsibly. Here are several approaches businesses can take to reduce their environmental footprint and foster a greener future:

Document shredding

Confidential paper shredding is an integral part of many businesses. However, some people feel they have to choose between document shredding and good environmental practices. However, there is a way to do both. Paper shredding can help with both data security and your climate impact.

Firstly, you can safely shred customer data, bank statements, and confidential business information using shredding services. Businesses often find that their documents can add up - very quickly. You may worry that you are not able to safely dispose of all of them. Of course, they can’t go to regular recycling as this could lead to a significant information security risk, along with issues related to regulatory compliance and reputation management.

However, at Highlander Security Shredding, we recycle 100% of the paper we shred. We are able to transform it into a valuable source for the production of high-demand products such as toilet paper. This means we are able to help businesses achieve their sustainability goals without worrying about data protection. All paper and cardboard recycling materials collected are either returned to our East Kilbride Recycling Centre or supplied directly to our network of approved paper mills to be turned into brand-new paper or cardboard products. We can also provide you with a certificate of destruction to give you peace of mind.

Energy efficiency

Energy is a big cost for many businesses, so it makes sense to want to cut down on your energy usage. You can make lots of changes throughout your property such as using energy-efficient lighting, such as LED bulbs, and energy-efficient equipment to reduce energy consumption. It is also worth considering installing smart thermostats, motion sensors, and energy management systems to optimise energy use and to be more aware of how much you are using. Finally, consider installing solar panels, wind turbines, or other renewable energy sources to power your business.

Waste reduction

Waste is a big reason many businesses struggle to hit their sustainability goals. Whether it’s food waste or paper waste - there’s a lot of it. If you aren’t already shredding documents or other paper waste, that’s a great place to start. Many offices produce large amounts of paper documents that you could reduce by going paperless. You could also implement comprehensive recycling programs, reduce single-use plastics, and encourage reusable materials. When it comes to green waste, you can compost organic waste from cafeterias and landscaping to reduce landfill waste and generate soil enrichment. Finally, try to conduct regular waste audits to identify areas for reduction and recycling.

Sustainable supply chain

Sustainability begins with the products you buy as a business. Are you buying recycled paper, or other products and materials from sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethically responsible suppliers? Emissions is another thing to consider, try to use local suppliers to minimise transportation emissions and consider electric or hybrid vehicles for your fleet. You can switch to biodegradable or recyclable packaging and reduce excess packaging materials.

Water conservation

Clean drinking water is a limited resource that is slowly running out, so it’s smart not to waste it. Where you can install low-flow toilets, taps, and showerheads to reduce water consumption, you can also make the most of the wet UK weather and collect and use rainwater for landscaping and other non-potable purposes. If you have a lot of outdoor space such as big gardens or a rooftop patio, invest in native plants and drought-resistant landscaping to minimise water usage.

Sustainable practices and culture

Good practices within the workplace are the best way to begin working towards a more sustainable future. It’s important to instill this mindset in your employees and make it a positive action towards a company-wide initiative. Educate employees on sustainable practices and encourage them to participate in green initiatives. Set measurable sustainability goals and track progress towards achieving them, and finally, integrate sustainability into your CSR programs, and support local environmental projects or charities.

Carbon footprint reduction

While it isn’t always possible to eliminate your carbon emissions completely, you can offset them. You could consider carbon offset programs to balance out unavoidable emissions. Also, try to encourage virtual meetings and remote work to reduce travel-related emissions. You could also optimise operational processes to reduce carbon emissions.

Community engagement and partnerships

Sustainability can also be implemented throughout the community. Showing your business is striving to be more environmentally friendly makes people appreciate the work you are doing and value your business much more. You could engage with local communities in environmental initiatives to promote sustainability and partner with environmental NGOs to leverage their expertise and amplify your impact.

Regulatory compliance and reporting

Finally, it’s important you are compliant with environmental regulations. Ensure compliance with local and national environmental regulations to avoid penalties and maintain a positive reputation. You should aim to regularly report on your environmental impact and sustainability efforts to maintain transparency and accountability.

Highlander Security Shredding - Confidential Paper Shredding

If you are looking to make your business more sustainable and want to start with shredding services and document shredding, we can help. We offer secure paper shredding so that you can comply with data protection and environmental regulations by keeping your paper waste to a minimum and ensuring it is recycled sustainably. We want to make the process easier for you, which is we offer a secure drop-off service to allow you to quickly and efficiently get rid of unwanted documents. You will never have to worry about data security leaks when you use Highlander Security Shredding. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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