With Sir David Attenborough warning of a climate ‘crisis moment’ and environmental activist Greta Thunberg calling for urgent action to avoid a climate apocalypse, the future of our planet is certainly making the headlines at the moment.

As entrepreneurs, we can help to set the agenda for budding and future businesses and to put social responsibility and ethics at the heart of the conversation.

So what can SMEs do to reduce their environmental impact? In this blog, we focus on energy consumption and provide you with five simple ways your business can become more energy efficient.

Invest in an energy audit

It can be difficult to know how you can reduce your business’ energy consumption if you don’t understand how or where energy is being wasted. Having a utility company inspect and analyze energy use in the workplace can help you to identify and fix any problem areas in order to make your business more efficient. A smart energy monitor can also be used to keep an eye on where your energy is being consumed and, according to Utility Bidder, many energy suppliers provide smart monitors for free these days.

Get your heaters or boilers serviced regularly

Heating can account for a large proportion of many businesses’ overall energy costs and, according to the Carbon Trust, a poorly operated or maintained boiler can increase the cost of heating by 30 percent or more. Boilers should be serviced at least once a year in order to stay as efficient as possible.

Switch to LEDs

The most efficient lighting option on the market, Light Emitting Diode (LED) units should be used wherever possible. Not only are these longer-life bulbs good news for the environment, but it’s also believed that they can help to improve workplace productivity and can save businesses up to 80 percent on their lighting costs.

Use Energy Star certified equipment in the office

Energy Star certified tablets, laptops and desktops use only the most efficient components and automatically go into ‘low power mode’ when they haven’t been used for a preset amount of time. Equipment with an Energy Star label uses 25 percent less energy than conventional models, which means they’re kinder for the planet and your pocket. However, don’t forget to enable energy management software in order to make savings.

Fit VSDs to factory or warehouse equipment

Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) are devices that can help to vary the speed of a motor that would otherwise run at a fixed pace. They are often used with pumps and fans to varying speeds depending on the demand. If you use a VSD to slow a pump or fan down by 20 percent, you can make an energy saving of 50 percent.

If you’re inspired to make 2020 the year you put the climate on your to-do list, you won’t be sorry. Reducing energy is not only good for the planet, as it can boost your business’ corporate reputation and save you money, but it also makes perfect business sense too.

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