Three Ways You Can Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Business

Magenta Security was the first manned security service in Europe to fully comply to the ISO 14001 environmental standard. Since then, we’ve continued to reduce our carbon footprint and be an industry leader in environmental responsibility and energy efficiency, achieving and maintaining a carbon neutral status for many years.

Clients often come to me for advice on how to reduce their impact on the environment, especially now that many businesses won’t work with companies who can’t prove their environmental credentials.

Here are three ways that we dramatically reduced our carbon footprint.

Use Small Engine, High Efficiency Vehicles

If your business requires a fleet of vehicles, then petrol use will make up a huge portion of your carbon footprint. That’s why we gradually replaced our entire fleet of vehicles with models that have smaller engines and higher fuel efficiency. Our 2 litre engines were reduced to 1.4 litre, our 1.6 -1.4 litre engines reduced to 1.2 litre, and our 1.2 litre engines reduced to 1 litre. This significantly reduced our CO2 emissions, as well cutting our fuel costs without sacrificing operability.

When considering environmental impact, you have think at a micro and macro level. Not only did the fuel usage of our vehicles add to our carbon footprint, but so too did their manufacturing. To limit this, we halved the rate at which we replace our vehicles from every two years to every four.

We looked into electric vehicles, but unfortunately they were simply too expensive at the ranges we required. Our mobile patrols have to be active 24/7, so we can’t afford to have one of our cars run out of juice if it needs to speed to the scene of an incident. I’m looking forward to the day that electric vehicles are feasible for our operation, but the technology just isn’t quite there yet for our scale of operation.

Install Intelligent Lighting Systems

Every second a light is on in an empty room, you’re wasting energy. The only solution to this used to be remembering to switch the lights off when you leave a room, which is a hassle in a busy office. Luckily, technology has made it far easier with zoned lighting systems, which automatically detect when a room is in use and turns the lights on or off accordingly.

This one change reduced the energy consumption of our office by an incredible 75%, in the process shaving over £10,000 off our annual energy bill, easily covering the installation costs and saving us a huge sum in the long run.

You should also make sure that all your bulbs are low energy LEDs, which can now easily meet or exceed the brightness of old fashioned, energy-hungry incandescent bulbs.

Don’t Ignore the Small Improvements

Achieving carbon neutral status requires an attention to detail. How energy efficient are the computers and monitors in your office? Do you still send paper correspondence which could be switched to email? Are you equipping your staff with tablets to avoid having to print documents? Do your source your uniforms locally or internationally?

Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll see opportunities to reduce your carbon footprint all over your office and throughout your systems, supply lines and infrastructure. For example, we recently switched to using recyclable carpets so that their materials don’t go to waste when it’s time to replace them.

We also switched to using hand dryers in our bathrooms which, despite using electricity, are a greener way of drying your hands than paper towels. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the production and delivery of the paper has a far greater impact on the environment than the electricity usage of a hand dryer. Our office has a relatively small population, but all the little things add up.

If you want more advice on how to run a carbon neutral company or want to learn more about Magenta’s environmental initiatives, feel free to get in touch with me by calling 0800 772 3786.

Abbey Petkar

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