Your Guide to Becoming an Environmental Superhero

Want to Save the Planet? Start from the Top

There is increasing pressure upon businesses of all different sizes to implement improved environmental measures to reduce their carbon footprint. As an overall proposal, this can be quite daunting as it indicates there is a requirement for changes to be made to all aspects of the company’s infrastructure. Fundamentally, these changes will be required; as within the UK we have a series of carbon reduction targets to uphold in allegiance with International environmental commitments (based on the Kyoto Protocol). The main target under the Climate Change Act 2008[1] is to reduce UK carbon emissions by 26% by 2020 (from 1990 figures); and ultimately achieve an 80% reduction by 2050[2] (from the same baseline). This equates to approximately a 3% national reduction per annum, whilst the 2011 Carbon Plan[3] indicates that buildings need to be virtually zero carbon by the 2050 target.

What Does this Mean for Businesses in the UK?

Ultimately the government are looking for an ‘act now’ response from businesses of all shapes and sizes. There is a huge emphasis on reducing energy spent on heating costs, with almost half (46%)[4] of energy consumed in the UK being through industrial, commercial and domestic heating. Of that figure averagely 26% of a building’s lost heat comes through poor roofing insulation and maintenance. All of this indicates that assessing the thermal efficiency of the roof would be an ideal place to start for reducing the building’s heat loss.

Improve Your Infrastructure and Reap the Rewards

£33 Billion is currently being spent each year in the UK on heating costs, so not only is a huge amount of energy potentially being lost through roofing problems and poor insulation, but consequently a huge amount of money is also being needlessly wasted. The specific solution is not necessarily straight forward without assessing the thermal dynamics of the roof as well as other variable factors. For example, the older a roofing unit becomes, the more susceptible it becomes to thermal inefficiency and heat loss. On average, between twenty and thirty years is the point at which a roofing unit will substantially decline in efficiency, as well as becoming less durable in adverse weather conditions. It is worth inviting a professional roofing company to assess the roof and offer a quote for the proposed work. The initial costs may appear high, but over the course of their lifespan, they will save significant sums in energy costs and consumption.

Get Ahead of the Competition

Inevitably we are all going to have to make changes to our businesses to ensure we comply with environmental legislation and regulations. So why not get in there early and play it to your advantage? If you can illustrate to potential clients that you are concerned about the environment and develop an environmentally motivated management system, then by the time the government starts tightening up the legalities and business requirements, then you will potentially be in an excellent position to attract the punters in your field who not only want quality products but want to deal with a company who are proactive with environmental attitudes.

Attract New Cliental

It may seem a bit unbelievable that you could attract clients just by having a new roof installed or through a bit of insulation, but it is a very realistic opportunity. In the previous blog Reroofing your Commercial Property, I highlight a variety of different reasons to reroof; and company appearance is definitely one of them. Consider it from a client’s perspective, if you approach a business for the first time and are welcomed by a beautiful new and gleaming roofing unit; it immediately creates a positive impact, whereas it may not be quite as enticing to be greeted by a dilapidated and rusty roofing cover. Try looking at the investment from a different angle as well; your new roofing unit could become a symbol of your environmental aspirations as a company, and would send out a positive message to potential and existing clients that you are actively attempting to reduce your carbon footprint and have a long term business plan.

Take Advantage of Government Schemes

There are a variety of government led schemes currently in place with the initiative to encourage businesses to become more environmentally conscious. Without wanting to repeat myself, I also touch upon the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) scheme for solar panel installation in a previous blog What are the Main Benefits of Solar Panels? There is also the Government led Green Deal, but like with all good things, these initiatives have a limited budget to them and therefore a restrictive shelf life for when they are available. Best advice would be to act sooner rather than later on these.

Grab Your Cape

By taking these simple initial steps you can go a long way to making your building more energy efficient and consequently illustrating greater environmental awareness as a company. From here you can go onto taking other progressive steps in reducing your carbon footprint, and you can do your bit to save the world. You may not be grabbing all the headlines by rescuing a damsel in distress, but you can save your business a large amount of money through vastly reduced energy costs whilst attracting new cliental with a proactive environmental attitude. All of this heroic behaviour can be done while maintaining your dignity by wearing your underwear in the conventional sense (this part is optional).