3 Strategic Moves To Making Your Business Carbon Zero And Save Money
Let’s be honest here.
Where does making your business carbon zero feature on your current list of priorities?
As we hopefully return to a ‘new normal’ most of us are facing a myriad of challenges to get our businesses ‘back to normal.
Many can be forgiven for thinking ‘I have more pressing things to sort out than thinking about carbon zero right now.
And you are probably right.
The thing is though, beginning to move your business to carbon zero need not be that difficult and it can fit into any business re-alignment plans you are working on.
The pandemic has taught us valuable lessons on sustainability and risk planning.
Many of us will ‘stress test’ our business plans far more rigorously than pre-pandemic.
A Carbon zero strategy will help make our businesses more resilient for the future.
Why Carbon Zero? What’s in it for me?
Not committing until the last possible moment is often our default choice.
Many of us will not move to act unless we have to or there is sufficient social proof.
Indeed legislation and compliance have their origin in compelling people to act.
Being an early adopter to a carbon zero strategy has the following benefits:
- Decreased energy costs – increase to bottom line
Energy costs as a percentage of business turnover have increased over time.
This is particularly true of electricity with prices peaking in January of this year.
Traditionally, businesses viewed ‘energy utility switching’ as the only proactive measure they could take to reduce or control energy costs.
This fostered the illusion of paying less but using the same amount of energy.
This is NOT the same as SAVING energy!
The trend was always upward – whatever the ‘deal’. Energy costs will continue to rise.
Now though businesses can really dig into reducing the amount of energy they use such as:
- Switching to LED lighting and smart control systems.
- Purchasing new energy-efficient equipment when existing equipment becomes obsolete.
- Properly optimising BMS( building management systems)& BEMS( building energy management systems) to reflect the use of the building and the staff.
- Retrofit of VSDs ( variable speed drives) to heavy machinery.
- Better insulation in buildings ( roof voids, internal wall insulation, external wall insulation etc).
- Better automated standby and shutdown procedures for IT systems and office communications.
- A carbon zero strategy may become increasingly influential as part of tenders and supply chain inclusion.
- May encourage staff to become more aware of energy costs and affect behavioural change.
- Maintenance of IT systems & comms for interrupted power supply.
- Corporate Tax Benefits
- Better CSR and PR – Outlining a commitment to climate change?
So what’s not to like?
How can I make a start?
How you can start your carbon zero journey in 3 simple steps
1. Reduce current energy consumption
Before you even think about this though you need to know and measure your energy consumption first. Everything we are about to discover flows from this!
You can read why your current energy consumption figures are so important here
One of the easiest ways to reduce consumption is to switch your current lighting to LED lighting and implement intelligent lighting controls ( sensors/ movement/PIR sensors/ dimming and daylight saving automated control systems)
Businesses can often save more than 70% of their current lighting costs in this way.
Lighting is a cost effective way to see a reduction in energy consumption immediately.
If you are interested in looking at your current lighting with a view to changing it you can find out more about lighting here
2. Produce ( Generate) Energy
Producing your own energy is easily accomplished by utilizing solar PV arrays ( usually roof-mounted).
The size of your system should be reflective of your actual use ( hence the need for your accurate consumption figures)
This will ensure you will pay for what you actually use.
In some circumstances, power generation can even become income-producing to the business if any excess power is fed back into the National Grid.
Additional benefits of generating your own energy are:
- Less reliance on utility suppliers
- A hedge against future price increases in energy particularly electricity
- Maintenance of IT systems & comms for interrupted power supply
3. Storing Energy
Storing energy for it to meet your operational requirements makes sense.
Many businesses operate in the evenings or early mornings.
Think of the solar PV system as a ‘battery charger’ that charges during daylight hours. The battery backup system will store this energy for when you require it.
It should be sized according to the Solar PV output and system size as well as according to your typical base and maximum loads.
Finally, three simple steps to many great benefits both now and in the future.
Three technologies working in harmony will help you to plan ahead and future proof your business.