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As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, running your micro business responsibly and sustainably is increasingly important.
What’s more, research suggests that prioritising environmental goals can provide a competitive advantage when attracting new clients. So it goes without saying that, along with being the ethical thing to do, committing to reducing your carbon footprint makes your business more attractive to clients.
But the fact is that it’s not always easy to know how or where to start. In this article, we reveal six ways micro businesses can run greener businesses – from audits and carbon offsetting initiatives to investing in an electric vehicle.
Carbon footprinting measures your emissions, giving you visibility over your environmental impact and a starting point from which you can reduce it.
There are plenty of calculators available online – such as carbonfootprint.com and the Footprint Calculator from WWF. But they are either intended for personal or household use. They are generally free to use, however.
Some are also aimed at businesses, which come at a cost. If you’re happy to pay for this service, you’ll be able to better understand and visualise your footprint by visiting The Carbon Trust or Normative.
Where possible, working remotely rather than commuting to your client’s location can also help to reduce your environmental impact, particularly if you drive a petrol or diesel vehicle.
If you need to commute, however, choosing public transport for longer distances, and cycling or walking for shorter journeys, is the best way to lower your travel-related emissions.
And if you need to commute, switching from a petrol or diesel vehicle to an electric vehicle (EV) reduces your fuel emissions – to zero.
There are also tax benefits to consider, as EVs purchased via businesses are taxed at just 1% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) for the 2022/23 tax year. In contrast, BiK for petrol cars starts at 22% for 2022/23.
A tonne of paper produces between 27-29kg of carbon dioxide, which tells you everything you need to know. And while you might not use much paper, small changes make a big difference overall.
Where you need to use paper, you can find Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified suppliers. This means that the paper has been produced sustainably – that is, from sustainable, well-managed forests, or recycled materials.
Switching your energy supply to 100% renewable, whether at home or in the office, can reduce your carbon footprint significantly.
While, for the time being, many energy companies aren’t currently taking on new customers, it’s worth registering your interest with them or keeping an eye out for when they do.
Carbon offsetting is the final part of the puzzle and is generally used where emissions can’t be reduced.
In a sense, they are the last resort – the aim is to eliminate all possible emissions first, then offset anything that can’t be reduced or stopped. Of course, in an ideal world, you’d eliminate the activity – such as flying, for example – but offsetting emissions at least balances out your environmental impact.
If you’re interested in offsetting, there are plenty of providers that you can find online. Ecologi and Carbon Neutral Britain are two worth checking out.
So, there are several ways contractors can minimise their carbon footprint. And while reducing your environmental impact can help you win business, it goes a long way to protecting the planet.
To find our more about SJD and how we can help you with your small business finances, please get in touch.
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