2018 – the start of a brand-new year and a great time to reflect on business priorities and make some resolutions for the year ahead.
When you consider how energy, water and waste costs are likely to rise and eat into your profit this coming year, and that every pound you are able to knock off your bill goes straight to your bottom line, why wouldn’t you add resource efficiency to your plans? It must be one of the easiest ways to boost profits in 2018. Not to mention reducing the impact your business has on the environment.
In 2017, our advisors helped over 800 businesses around Scotland, and we have never come across one business that couldn’t boost profits by becoming more resource efficient. Whether it was by reducing their use of energy or water, or minimising the waste they produce, the businesses we visited stood to save £8,000 a year on average.
Here are four New Year’s resolutions that we recommend you add to your priorities to help make your business greener and enjoy lower bills in 2018.
There are hundreds of ways businesses can save energy, use less water and reduce the amount of waste they generate. Actions, like getting in control of heating settings, will cost nothing. Others, like engaging staff, don’t cost money, but can take a little time to implement, and some, like upgrading heating or lighting, will need investment.
It’s important that your business chooses the actions that will have the biggest impact for the least cost. There’s no point upgrading your heating, for example, if you work in a draughty building – you would want to fix the draughts first. And there’s no need to upgrade your lighting to modern LEDs if the real problem is that staff are leaving lights on all day when they could simply be switched off.
Starting with the quick wins is also great at building momentum and enthusiasm for resource efficiency. Once you start making savings, it’s amazing how people around you can suddenly get on board, rallying round to back your bigger projects.
Making a plan doesn’t need to be hard work. In fact, just jump over to the Savings Finder now to tell us a little about who you are and what you do, and you will have your very own action plan within the next 10 minutes.
There could be a lot of resource efficiency projects to add to your plans for 2018. Projects you can implement to save energy, water and waste – boost profits. But you’ll be hard-pushed to find any project that won’t require you to get your colleagues on board first – not if you want to maximise successes and savings anyway.
Simple things like recycling better, switching off equipment when it’s not needed, reporting leaks and drips – none of this will happen as well as you would like if staff aren’t motivated.
Even larger, less obvious projects can benefit from staff support too. For example, it might not seem necessary to involve staff in installing new lighting. Just change the bulbs and the job is done – right? If you are lucky – perhaps. But involving staff in the project will go a long way to help you avoid any issues down the road. New lighting can really change the working environment and by including staff in the project, you can get their buy-in and help ensure they see the change for the positive thing that it is.
We have lots of free materials that can help you motivate your colleagues and keep them onboard with your 2018 plans. From setting up a Green Team, to training staff and running regular campaigns, you’ll find lots of useful help here.
Unlike large businesses, there aren’t many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that have the luxury of their own dedicated Environmental Manager. However, what our advisers often find when they work with leading SMEs, the ones that have already taken action and are enjoying the benefits of resource efficiency, is that someone in the business has taken on a lead role and has become a driving force for resource efficiency improvements.
From supervisors to office managers, to cleaners, to warehouse staff – these ‘Green Champions’ can be found anywhere in your business, at any level. And they are incredibly valuable.
Every business would greatly benefit by having this kind of Green Champion – and our CPD-certified online training course is designed to help you train yours.
Finally, if you are serious about making 2018 a more resource efficient one, we recommend that you turn your actions into a Resource Efficiency Pledge.
The Resource Efficiency Pledge is a national scheme backed by the Scottish Government. It lets you join hundreds of Scottish businesses that have already made a pledge and shown their commitment to taking action on improving resource efficiency.
Making your pledge is a great way to galvanise your management team’s commitment to your chosen actions, while getting public recognition for your efforts. You can make your Resource Efficiency Pledge here.
We wish you all the best for a prosperous and resource efficient 2018. And remember, our team of resource efficiency experts is here to help you all year round on 0808 808 2268.