How to go “green” while helping the bottom line

It’s now common knowledge that the world is getting warmer. There are still arguments about whether burning fossil fuels is the cause or whether we are just riding a long-term warming cycle. 

In 1963, the Thames froze over in London. In 1814, the last of the London Frost Fairs was held, with shops, stalls and gambling on the frozen river. Today, the Champagne makers of France are moving to Sussex because their native land is too hot. 

There is no doubt the world is warming and we will all be in serious trouble if it continues. So what can a responsible enterprise do? Every small action will help contribute to change. With this in mind, below are five tips to help businesses become increasingly green.

(1) Buy blue or green energy

All businesses, regardless of their size or sector, buy energy as without it, they wouldn’t be able to run. Gas is much more efficient than electricity, because a lot of the electricity generated is used to heat up wires on pylons, cables under the streets and transformers. Gas is also a third of the price per Kilowatt-hour, so using gas instead of electricity when possible is a no brainer. 

Almost every business has the option to buy “brown” electricity generated from coal, “blue” electricity generated from renewables and nuclear, or “green” electricity generated exclusively from renewables. 

The prices rarely differ too much, although green energy can be cheaper than brown. So buying blue or green electricity will make a difference not only to the environmental impact of your business, but possibly also to your profit margins too.

(2) Switch the lights off

It may sound obvious, but switching the lights off saves energy. A walk around London, or any other major city, on a winter’s evening shows how many businesses do not do it. Office blocks are ablaze with light long after everyone has gone home. 

Admittedly, the life of both fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs is reduced by switching them on and off, but it is hardly energy conscious or socially responsible to leave them on for twelve hours without anybody being in the building. 

Therefore, switch lights off when not in use, or better still, fit movement detectors so the lights come on when someone enters a room and switch off if there is no movement. Even better, fit LED bulbs. They are bright, use almost no energy and last for years and years.

(3) Move the IT to a data centre or cloud

Using an in-house data centre is the most energy inefficient way to run business IT systems. An in-house data centre is rarely designed with energy efficiency in mind, whereas a professional data centre designed for IT, datacomms and voice colocation has energy efficiency at the forefront of its operations. 

This is due to two factors. Firstly, there are clear environmental benefits to running an energy efficient data centre but also because the cost of energy is high for a data centre and it bears the costs. 

A responsible data centre will therefore already be using green electricity while continuously considering how processes could be made increasingly efficient. A cloud will also be running in a data centre and the combination of data centre virtualised servers and data centre energy efficiency is by far the greenest way there is to run an IT system currently.

Partnering with greener vendors and recycling more effectively are proven ways to help your business “go green” – continue reading more tips on page two.

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