Following on from my previous blog about TM44s and in relation to recent news, we can all do our bit to help the environment. Whether you believe in ‘climate change’ or not, it is true that the world is polluted, ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising and wildlife is being affected. I am sure we all agree that a less polluted and greener world would benefit everyone.
It is not realistic to expect everyone to suddenly stop driving cars and eating meat and to offset every mile flown by planting a tree; however, there are small changes each of us can make which will make a collective improvement.
We all know simple ways to reduce our personal carbon footprint in our day to day lives, such as turning off lights and appliances when not in use, changing to LED bulbs, not wasting food and buying local where possible (which also supports our British food industry).
For businesses, reducing carbon emissions can be trickier, however, it can also be an opportunity to save money. We can reduce fuel consumption by ensuring vehicles are properly maintained, tyres are inflated properly and vehicles are not overloaded. As a business that relies heavily on our fleet of vehicles, we monitor this regularly and ensure all our employees are aware of our company environmental policy and procedures. We are also moving our management vehicles onto electric/hybrid, which is already having a positive effect on our monthly fuel costs. We are by no means perfect, but we are trying to be mindful of our carbon emissions and make changes where we can.
All businesses should also be paying attention to the way we heat and cool our premises. Old boilers and heaters can be hugely wasteful and are detrimental both financially and to the environment. I am not suggesting that they are all immediately removed and the latest building management technology is installed, as this is not always viable, however ensuring that systems are well maintained and planning for the phasing out and replacement of old, inefficient system is. Many companies continue fixing their systems for far longer than they should, which is a false economy in many ways. Not only does it sometimes work out just as expensive as a replacement but running costs are often considerably higher.
If you have a system which is over 10 years old, you should be thinking about and planning for replacement, not necessarily with a like for like system. There have been many occasions in which we have been asked to provide a replacement heating system for a client, only to look at their building fabric and usage and devise a completely different system for a similar financial outlay which has reduced running costs through increased efficiency and effectively utilise heat recovery technology and also provided them with cooling in the summer, saving them thousands overall. The traditional boiler heating system is becoming less economical for many businesses but often, as it is a simple option for many installers, they don’t consider or recommend other more beneficial options.
Further to this, many more efficient systems are eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA Scheme) through which the financial outlay can be offset 100% against the business’ profits in the first year, saving them even more money.
We all need to plan for the future not just continually plaster over the cracks. If everyone works together I am confident that the future will be greener and more environmentally friendly for generations to come.