Choosing green ways of managing your business is increasingly becoming a requirement depending on the sector your firm operates in, and linking up with other companies that also adopt environmentally-friendly practices could reflect well on your organisation.

Rules and regulations are being introduced that aim to cut the UK's carbon emissions by 2012. These schemes have a positive impact on the environment, but they can also have a similar effect on your outgoings and reputation. As the awareness of how climate change affects the planet grows, ethically-run firms tend to receive more credibility than those that do not incorporate green practices into offices and buildings.


As mentioned previously, there are lots of incentives to going green and doing business with those companies that feature ecologically-aware policies. For example, by insulating buildings correctly and replacing appliances with energy efficient kinds, you could cut your outgoings. Also the Climate Change Agreement allows businesses to receive financial discounts when they cut their emissions to a specified level.

New laws introduced via the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme will require some firms to measure their emissions over the course of a year and buy allowances from the government, with penalties issued if they are exceeded. If you or your employers have already made a start by introducing green policies to your workplace, then you may want to extend these environmentally-friendly practices by looking at like-minded firms that also uphold similar values. Doing so may help to reinforce your organisation's own environmentally-friendly commitments, while also showing your customers that the firm puts importance in ecological matters, potentially boosting your ethical appeal.

What to look for

Not all firms will be required to incorporate new policies introduced as part of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. Those that are will probably need to adopt greener ways of making energy - such as wind turbines - heating buildings and disposing of used items. If you're not sure how green an organisation is, you're free to ask about their environmentally-friendly policies.

Each day firms generate lots of waste, with paper being a major part of their rubbish. Governments and authorities make it simpler than ever to get paper recycled, but a sure sign that a company is moving towards greener practices is that they try to limit the amount of paper that they actually use. As well as checking for recycling policies, inquire as to whether firms use computer systems for activities that may have once required the use of paper.

For example, emails do not generally need to be printed in modern offices and automated, online systems scrap the need for spreadsheets, calendars and booking forms. If paper is generated, check to see if there is a comprehensive recycling system put in place and that both sides of pages are printed on to cut down on the amount used. Today recycling schemes are broad and may include different kinds of waste, such as metals, toners for printers, appliances and packaging.

Firms that generate their own forms of power may qualify for certain discounts from the government. When doing business with other firms, ask them if they have any plans in place to install these devices, if they haven't already. Natural energy, such as the sun and wind, is gradually being harnessed by both homes and businesses, and you may find linking up with companies that install them inspiring and consequently use similar devices, to cut your organisation's emissions and outgoings.