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Help Reduce The Carbon Footprint And Cut Business Costs March 31, 2009

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Chamber HR, Environment, Top Tips.

Green_leaf_detail We all have a duty to help in reducing carbon emissions as well as encouraging good work place practices that reduce waste and extravagance. The HR function should help lead the way by pro-actively encouraging the business and the workforce to adopt some simple measures to make reductions.

Here are some simple ways in which the business and the environment can benefit.

a.      Switch it off – Switch off unnecessary lighting – with the lighter days do we need that light or is it just for effect? Where lights are not needed for productive work or for health and safety reasons then make sure they are turned off. This will reduce costs and reduce the heat generated in an office

b.      Reducing monitor waste – Is that computer turned off? Don’t just let your laptop hibernate or your work station tick over, turn it off. At night when you leave the office do you check to make sure that both the hard drive and the monitor are switched off? The number of monitors that hum along on stand by eating up power all night is colossal. Turn it off!

c.      Turn it off last thing – Have an employee designated to check the building last thing to make sure that equipment that does not have to be switched on or on stand by is turned off. Make sure that the lights are turned down and heating is kept to a minimum.

d.      Temperature control – Ensure that all radiators have individual thermostats that actually work. This will enable the heat in a room to be adjusted for ambient temperature to suite the individuals working in that room. Make sure that they some sort of default maximum setting so that heating costs are reduced.

e.      Is that journey necessary? – Think before making a business journey, could it be done in a better way. Is it necessary at this time or can it be combined with another journey? Can video/telephone conferencing be used instead?

f.       Do you have to use a vehicle?- If the destination is close can you walk, could you cycle – is that practical? By allowing more time to go to close locations many may be in walking range. The benefit then is at least two fold – healthy exercise and cost reduction.

g.      Is that printed copy needed? – Why do we seem to have to print every thing that is sent when an electronic copy and back up would almost certainly suffice? The amount of paper that is wasted is considerable and with paper and print costs climbing thing before you print.

h.      Was that photocopy required?- How many of us take an extra copy just in case and what is the cost to business as well as to the environment? Try to think electronically. If a copy is needed for a meeting can it be sent electronically first and perhaps just one copy available at the meeting. Attendees could share information copies to reduce the number needed.

i.        Is that printer necessary?- a good way to help reduce printing costs is to cut the number of network printers and stop buying individual desk printers. Undertake an audit of the staff who really need a printer, they should be only the ones who have to print confidential information and even then only those who need to do it on a regular substantial basis. Think electronically and reduce costs.

j.        Stop web surfing- Many business costs are compounded by individual staff surfing the web for their own purposes at work. There is a considerable cost in lost time but many of these web searches result in reams of paper being used for helpful hints and advertising and holiday searches. Be firm, be fair but put an end to it. It’s costing the business money in many ways and HR must act positively to discourage this waste. Let the staff web surf from designated PCs only and make sure that they are not linked to a printer! The internet is for business use and so only needs to be accessible to a few people who need it to maintain the client service at acceptable levels.

These are just a few of the hints and tips that are available all across the business network. HR needs to help business cut costs and maintain margins as the credit crunch hardens. Think ‘is something really necessary, is there a better cheaper more environmentally sound way of doing something or providing some information?’ Prepare a policy and send it electronically to your staff. Explain the sense of reducing print costs both in hard and soft ware.

It is the role of HR to act in the best interests of the business look for savings, consider reductions and recommend positive steps.

For more information and assistance visit the ChamberHR website www.chamberhr.co.uk

Alan Hunt – Qdos Consulting Limited providers of ChamberHR

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