While the headlines are full of coronavirus, climate change remains an immediate and pressing issue. Consequently, there is increasing pressure on businesses to embrace sustainable practices wherever possible.
But beyond helping reduce our overall impact on the planet, opting for a greener business also helps you save money too, and the best place to start is with your overheads.
Read on to discover four ways your business can reduce overheads to be more sustainable in 2020.
Ditch servers and use the cloud
The concept of cloud computing is nothing new — it was actually invented in the 1960s, albeit in a more rudimentary form. But the development of the cloud in recent years has opened it up to consumers of every budget, offering an array of benefits for businesses and individuals alike.
But one of the biggest draws of the cloud is its potential to dramatically reduce the need for servers. These servers aren’t just expensive, but also require incredible amounts of energy to operate.
There is a variety of cloud computing formats open to businesses. The Google suite is the most common and popular option
Beyond sustainability concerns, cloud computing also makes remote working easier too. At times like these, cloud computing becomes all but essential for businesses.
If you want to reduce overheads and be more sustainable, you shouldn’t just start with your business itself — you need to adopt a holistic approach. Your business is just one part of your overall supply chain, so consider the wider picture.
You could start with small switches. For example, you might change paper supplier to one that offers paper made from recycled pulp. Or you could find an energy provider that uses sustainable sources and switch to them.
Where applicable, you could even consider changing your entire logistical process.
Depending on your business, there are a number of alternative options open to you — a dropshipping-style method of fulfillment, for instance, negates the need for a warehouse. This reduces your rental costs, electricity, security staffing costs, and so on.
Of course, this is just an example, and it isn’t an option open to every business. But it illustrates how a re-evaluation of your supply chain, while initially requiring some time and investment, can significantly reduce overheads over time.
Alter your vehicle fleet logistics
Many businesses have some sort of vehicle fleet as part of their model. Whether it’s company cars or a fleet of delivery vehicles, these vehicles make up a significant part of your business’ overheads.
But you can both reduce these necessary overheads and be more sustainable by evaluating your vehicle fleet.
If you run a delivery service with one-day delivery, consider cutting down on the number of vehicles you use and consolidating deliveries where possible. While one-day delivery is an enticing prospect that attracts customers, it’s not a necessity.
Getting rid of one-day delivery won’t have the dramatic impact on your sales you might think, especially when framed as an eco-friendly business commitment.
It might also be worth reassessing your company car scheme too. Consider whether some team members actually need a company car. Offer subsidised bus or rail tickets to incentivise more sustainable commuting methods. You could even provide a bike to work scheme, subsidising the purchase of a bike at the same time.
Enjoy tax breaks for going green
There are a number of taxes, reliefs, and schemes open to businesses that embrace environmental policies. These are designed to incentivise businesses to operate in a green and sustainable way, but also offer useful financial relief to small, growing businesses.
The criteria for these vary depending on your business. For instance, your business might be able to claim capital allowances if you invest in sustainable technology specifically for your business. An example of this is energy-efficient toilets — these make your business greener, thus helping you qualify for this tax break.
Depending on your business, it might also be worth looking into the climate change levy. If your business requires and consumes a lot of energy (bakeries, for instance), then you can apply for a tax reduction of up to 80%.
However, you only qualify for this if you commit to meeting certain energy targets for your business. Speak to your industry’s trade association for more information related to your business on this.
The tips listed above can let virtually every business, large or small, reduce their overheads and be more sustainable at the same time. While it might require some time and investment now, the long-term benefits for your business (and the planet) make it worth your while.
Article written by and courtesy of: Rodnew Laws