Taxbriefs Commentary Library

Time to 'go green'

Editorial Team, 03 Nov 2016


Ahead of next week's US election, Leonardo di Caprio is streaming his new climate change documentary for free. A long time advocate of going green, the star appears to be putting his reputation and money on the line in the hope of getting voters to consider the issues.

We can't all be di Caprio but sustainability is a growing issue across generations and there are things you can do to help. It seems as though every day there is a new report about the threats our environment is facing and while many may shrug their shoulders and wonder what difference they can make in the grand scheme of things, others are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints and more and more companies are tapping into sustainable working - whether through recycling or saving electricity.

Some shops are sending receipts by email to reduce paper wastage; banks are inviting their customers to 'go paperless' and receive their statements and other paperwork in electronic form rather than through the post; and of course the plastic bag tax which encourages shoppers to reuse their bags.

It is worth noting that these measures have a cost-saving attached to them too. Implementing changes to your company for it to become more environmentally friendly can be extremely beneficial - it can create a healthy and pleasant workplace for staff as well as allowing you to cut back on utility bills.

Smaller businesses

There are a couple of changes you can make as a small business to go green:

  • Office supplies: only order what you really need. It's amazing how many pens you can find lying around if you have a look! When you do order things, try to make them environmentally friendly - recycled paper for example.
  • Air conditioning and lighting  - make sure your air conditioning is on a timer and only set to be in use during working hours. Try to switch lighting systems from flourescent lights to LEDs which are energy-efficient. You could position desks near to windows to ensure maximum natural light and paint the walls a light colour which will give the illusion of a bright atmosphere.
  • Recycling bins: install a range of bins for employees to use for recycling.
  • Commuting: are you able to limit the travel time of your staff by making use of virtual meeting facilities? Can you offer the option of homeworking from time to time?

When it comes to your marketing, print is still an important tool - but check the paper source. Taxbriefs' newsletters are printed on paper produced using FSC mixed sources from well-managed forests and other controlled sources, at a mill that is certified to the EMAS environmental management standard.

Educate your staff and colleagues on the importance of an environmentally friendly workplace, and you'll not only be doing your bit for future generations but you'll see the benefits in cost-savings too!



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