Businesses have an important role in preserving the environment and practicing responsibility. Pursuing opportunities doesn’t mean neglecting your environmental responsibilities, and this way of thinking also applies to SMEs.
LG’s General Marketing Manager, Thomas Vanderlinde, believes that SMEs should embrace eco-friendly and green business practices. SMEs can implement the following practical tips to lead a greener business, even with limited resources.
Decrease energy usage
Energy usage is one of the biggest problem areas for SMEs. To reduce energy usage, an SME should focus on these areas: lighting, equipment, heating and cooling.
For lighting, small to medium businesses can install energy efficient lighting, make sure lights are switched off when necessary, manually or automatically. In regards to equipment, simply switching off equipment or having systems which automatically turn off the power are recommended.
Heating is another area where energy usage can be high. Having a workplace with improved insulation, consistent heating maintenance and investments towards efficient heating technologies can help.
Cooling is also problematic for reducing your carbon footprint. Maintaining your business’s cooling and incorporating timing controls is another step to making your business eco-friendly.
Recycling is the way forward
In most cases, the waste SMEs produce ends up in landfills where they lead to a build-up of methane and other greenhouse gases. For businesses to reduce their emissions from waste, a recycling scheme is one recommended option. Options like incineration via an Energy from Waste plant (EfW) are also advisable. The only downside to EfW is the production of GHGs during incineration. However, using EfW is far more environmentally conscious and carbon neutral than using coal and gas.
Following a recycling scheme can be a factor to consider for all SMEs and their product production. For example, LG have pledged to reduce hazardous substances in their product lines, as part of a vision to make their products more recyclable. Furthermore, LG aims to make their products biodegradable allowing for easy, eco-friendly disposal at the end of product lifespans.
Ultimately, customers expect green products from businesses and this has become necessity. Energy conservation and lowering carbon footprints can be challenging, especially for SMEs. But businesses can become more environmentally aware and produce eco-friendly products with low environmental impact.
Examine supply chains
Green business practices involve an analysis of your business supply chains. Sustainability can be affected by the carbon footprint generated by emissions through this process.
Every part of the production process has an emission associated with it. Emissions occur from the production of products, the transportation of products, their general use and eventual disposal.
Examining your product production cycle is important. LG has made technological advancements to their products in order to adhere to an environmentally friendly philosophy. They consistently produce TV that are energy efficient due to a movement from LCD to LED tubes, and to OLED. LG realised OLED technology leads to higher energy conservation potential in consumers’ homes.
Even air conditioners, which are often considered disastrous for carbon footprints and reduced emissions, can be green. LG designs their system air conditioners (SACs) and residential air conditioners (RACs) with eco-friendly features in mind. LG’s Inverter V series RACs feature efficiency boosting technologies where energy is conserved without limiting cooling capacity.
SMEs who adopt energy conservation concerns into their product production will produce products which are far more eco-friendly. This will reduce their own carbon footprint and the consumers too.
No longer is business merely about profit-making. Yet being green does have one major benefit, you will save money during production.
Simply identify actions within your production cycle with high emissions attached to them. Following this, prioritise actions with a high environmental impact, but have available solutions to create low environmental impact.
The travel factor
Assessing business travel policies is also key. A business’s carbon footprint can be affected by the impact of travel.
Where possible, businesses should try limit the need for travel with alternatives such as audio and video conferencing. Conferencing technology is both convenient and cost effective. This leads to a reduction in travel costs. Along with air travel, travelling by car is not necessarily environmentally conscious. Reducing fuel use is pivotal in being carbon neutral and reducing a business’s carbon footprint. Factors such as commuting, public transport and company cars contribute. Businesses can actively encourage sustainability in travelling. Solutions include car pools, the use of green vehicles and company taxis. If staff live within the vicinity of the business, a cycle to work scheme is highly recommended.
There is no reason why SMEs can’t take on green business philosophies. Embracing eco-friendly production and business practices needs to be a major aim for all businesses.