8 ways businesses can help fight climate change

Written by Jill - Written: May 30, 2022


Recent research has shown the earth could possibly be warmed up by 2 degrees Celsius as early as five years from now. That’s the limit set by the Paris Agreement.

In addition to disastrous consequences for our earth, this poses major risks for business, according to the World Economic Forum. Extreme weather, drought and resource scarcity can disrupt supply chains, reduce demand for goods and services, and affect the availability and prices of materials.

It’s not too late to turn the tide. Businesses can help, too, but many don’t know what they can do to help fight global warming. Here are eight actions all businesses can adopt to do their part.

1. Reduce your energy consumption

According to an American study, energy consumption in buildings is responsible for more than one third of all CO2 emissions. By reducing your energy consumption you can make a significant contribution to the fight against climate change.

What can companies do to reduce their energy consumption?

  • Turn off the lights in the office at night
  • Slightly turn down the heating or air conditioning
  • Unplug appliances in the evening
  • Replace bulbs with LED lights
  • Always keep looking for ways to reduce energy consumption. For example, on most devices you have settings to keep energy consumption as low as possible. Some apps, such as Vizito, also offer functions to minimize brightness at night
  • Invest in recycled materials: processing recycled glass costs 30 percent less energy than producing new glass; making products with recycled aluminum even saves more than 90 percent energy
  • When printers, laptops, lamps or office equipment are in need of replacing, opt for the most energy-efficient and sustainable devices

By paying more attention to their daily routines, companies can easily reduce their impact on the climate. On top of that, all these small adjustments result in significant cost savings.

2. Reduce paper waste

All businesses produce waste - whether it is the industrial waste of a large factory or the paper waste of a small firm.

Some ways to reduce waste include:

  • Avoiding disposable cups, stirrers and coffee capsules
  • Less printing
  • Reusing paper as scrap paper
  • Sorting and recycling waste
  • Managing visitors digitally

Notably in the area of going paperless, there is still room for improvement. In recent years, many companies have taken big steps, but most offices still have a long way to go. Encourage employees not to print emails and documents, and offer them the option of sending documents to their personal devices.

Instead of paper records or archives, opt for a digital alternative. There are numerous apps that can help you. It is possible, for instance, to manage your visitors completely digitally. This doesn’t just soothe the climate: it also helps you keep your visitors’ data safe, and helps you save time as all data is immediately stored in the cloud.

What is digital visitor management?.

Read how you can get started with a digital visitor management system in less than 30 minutes.

Electic vehicles fleet charging EV

3. Electrify your fleet

According to Our World In Data, transportation is responsible for one-fifth of CO2 emissions worldwide. Three quarters of these emissions come from road traffic, especially passenger transport.

Companies therefore increasingly opt for a greener fleet. By investing in electric cars for their employees, they can make a significant contribution for climate. A Belgian study calculated that electrifying company fleets will halve CO2 emissions from road traffic by 2030 and improve air quality in cities.

Companies can also encourage their employees to take public transport to work or to carpool with colleagues. This way, their indirect CO2 emissions, and thus their impact on climate, can be significantly reduced.

4. Allow telecommuting

In 2020, global carbon emissions dropped for the first time in decades. The reason was of course the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the lockdowns, there were hardly any planes in the air and cars on the road. A study in the scientific journal Nature calculated that the drop in carbon emissions for that year was 6.4 percent.

In a digitalized world companies have plenty of opportunities to make use of this knowledge. Retail, administration, healthcare or technology: work has changed in all industries. Employees are increasingly working online. Meetings can easily be conducted over the internet. And companies are increasingly organizing events online.

Telecommuting holds many benefits:

  • CO2 emissions are reduced because employees don’t take their car to work every day
  • Companies consume less energy in their offices, which saves money and reduces the carbon footprint
  • Working from home is a big time saver for employees. They can use that time to spend it with their families or for hobbies, which amounts to a better work-life balance

Work from home

5. Opt for renewable energy

More and more people today are opting for renewable energy. Companies may also find this an interesting solution.

They can install solar panels or wind turbines on their grounds and use the generated energy to power their buildings. For smaller companies, this may however not be feasible. But there are options for them, too: they can opt for energy suppliers who offer 100 percent renewable energy.

6. Limit travel

As we already wrote, transportation is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions. And business travel is a major contribrutor.

Travel is an important part of doing business. But attending a conference or meeting potential clients abroad inevitably impacts climate.

Fortunately, thanks to today’s technology, alternatives are countless. Instead of going to a conference, you may schedule a webinar and invite your customers online. You can also communicate with business partners or customers via video chat to avoid a long drive or flight.

If a trip is nonetheless inevitable, remember traveling by train is up to 90 percent more eco-friendly than traveling by plane.

7. Create awareness among employees and customers

Companies can have an even greater impact by telling their employees and customers how their actions affect climate change. By encouraging them to make good choices themselves, carbon emissions can be reduced further.

A few examples:

  • Encourage your staff to travel sustainably, taking the train instead of a plane
  • Encourage your staff to work from home, to take public transport or to carpool to work
  • Offer company benefits, such as discounts on public transport or e-bikes
  • Create a “green team”, a group of passionate employees who help spread the word within the organization

8. Opt for sustainable suppliers

When you have done everything you can to reduce your own carbon footprint, it’s time to look at external factors as well. By making smart purchases and joining forces with sustainable suppliers, you can reduce your impact on climate even further.

Suppliers are increasingly offering eco-friendly products and services and working towards sustainability. By paying attention to this, ecology remains a priority throughout the supply chain.

At Vizito, we are proud to be a sustainable supplier to many companies. As this is a big issue for us, these are some of the initiatives Vizito is taking to reduce its carbon footprint:

  • Reusing packages
  • Avoiding paperwork: for example, our entire accounting system is digital
  • Energy efficient workstations
  • Energy efficient lighting
  • A 100 percent electric vehicle fleet
  • Vizito’s servers are located in an eco-friendly data center, which is certified for 100 percent green energy and only uses hydroelectric power
  • Our employees are encouraged to join Ecopower, a Belgian cooperative that provides 100 percent green energy and uses the cooperators’ capital to finance new renewable energy projects

To get a feel of how a modern visitor management system can help your business grow, try out Vizito for free during a 14-day trial or chat with us to discuss how Vizito can help you improve your reception.

Got more questions? These are the 7 most common questions about digital visitor management – and our answers.

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