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Shrinking Your Carbon Footprint: Energy Management for Every Business

By: SmallBizClub

 

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There are two main reasons why your business should be thinking about better energy management. First, it’s better for the environment, which benefits us all. Secondly, it’s cost effective, so your business will actually save more money when it relies on strategies to reduce energy usage and find other ways to reduce its carbon footprint. That’s money that will go straight to your bottom line. The following tips can help your business enhance the way it uses energy to reflect a greener way of being.

Perform an Energy Audit

A commercial energy audit is a helpful way to determine exactly how your business consumes energy and how it can reduce that energy usage without undermining business or the flow of work. Too often, businesses are simply paying excessive energy costs for no good reason. Most are simply unaware that they are wasting energy—and paying costly energy bills in the meantime. An effective energy audit, on average, can save a business 10–40% in energy costs. No business can afford to dismiss those statistics, particularly in these tough economic times. Upper management can consult with energy auditors to determine how and when to conduct this type of audit.

Related Article: Saving Money While Going Green

Create an Energy Policy

Once you’ve completed an energy audit, you’ll likely have plenty of actionable information to use to reduce your energy usage and costs. Many businesses, however, believe that it’s important to formalize their energy-related strategies and goals into an energy policy. Not only is such a document useful to staff, but it’s also something that may be important for customers and vendors to see when contemplating business with your company. Your policy can contain your plan for reducing energy usage based on the findings in your energy audit.

Once you’ve completed an energy audit, you’ll likely have plenty of actionable information to use to reduce your energy usage and costs. Many businesses, however, believe that it’s important to formalize their energy-related strategies and goals into an energy policy. To truly make a meaningful impact, consider incorporating a net-zero strategy into your energy policy. This involves balancing the emissions your business produces with equivalent removals or offsets, aligning with the goal of achieving a net-zero carbon footprint. Not only is such a document useful to staff, but it’s also something that may be important for customers and vendors to see when contemplating business with your company. Your policy can contain a step-by-step guide on how to create a net-zero strategy for your business, based on the findings in your energy audit

Tips for Reducing Energy Costs

Although your energy audit is likely to have specific information about reducing energy relative to your business and industry, the following general ideas may inspire you to get the ball rolling toward your greener business future.

  • Encourage staff to place their computers and monitors in “sleep mode” when they are not in use to conserve more energy.
  • Install energy-efficient lighting and appliances throughout your business premises
  • Reduce the number of printers in your office using wireless devices, and encourage staff to go paperless as often as possible.
  • It has been reported that junk mail, its delivery and disposal, produces more greenhouse gas than more than 2 million automobiles. You can get off junk mail lists and save yourself the trouble of shredding these documents with services like stopjunkmail.org. They contact a myriad of direct mail companies and conveniently remove you from their mailing lists.

Switch Energy Providers

Once your business is doing everything it needs to do to cut down on energy usage, it’s a good idea to investigate other energy providers. Other suppliers may help you save even more on energy costs when you switch. Comparison websites can help you determine how much switching energy suppliers could save your business.

It’s essential for businesses today to make energy management a priority. These tips can help ensure that your business manages its energy profile effectively.

Author: Scott Byrom of MakeItCheaper.com has over 7 years’ experience working in the UK’s energy sector. He has previously appeared on Sky News and the BBC discussing energy issues and is committed to helping both consumers and businesses drive down the cost of their gas and electricity bills. You can follow Scott on Twitter.

Published: March 23, 2015
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SmallBizClub.com is dedicated to providing small businesses and entrepreneurs the information and resources they need to start, run, and grow their businesses. The publication was founded by successful entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton. We bring you the most insightful thinking from industry leaders, veteran business owners, and fellow entrepreneurs. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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