What can you do as a business?
If you want to reduce the contribution of your business to climate change, a good place to start is to understand what your contribution is by working out the carbon emissions your business generates and where they come from.
There are a number of different ways of doing this:
- You can do the calculations yourself using the government's greenhouse gas conversion factors, which are updated annually
- You can use an online calculator
- You can tap into local expertise and engage a company to help you
If you're new to calculating carbon emissions, you may find this introductory guide helpful.
Some simple actions you can take
Ask your electricity supplier about switching to renewable energy.
Consider ways of improving your energy efficiency. This could be things like using energy efficient office equipment, fitting energy efficient light bulbs and running awareness campaigns to encourage staff to switch off lights, computers and other electrical equipment. If you'd like support with this contact Severn Wye, based here in Gloucestershire, to find out what help is available. The Carbon Trust also has a guide for SMEs about financing energy efficiency projects.
If you run a fleet of vehicles the Energy Saving Trust has a useful fleet management toolkit which provides information and resources to help you lower your costs, while reducing the carbon emissions from your organisation's vehicles and employee travel. You may also qualify for a free fleet review.
The government also offers a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant given to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers. The grant is capped and varies depending on the type of vehicle, but it covers cars, vans, taxis, large vans and trucks, motorcycles and mopeds. For more information have a look at the plug-in grants page on the gov.uk website.
Reducing the waste generated by your business is good for the environment and could save your business money. Visit our reduce your business waste page for ideas about what to consider to reduce the amount of waste your business generates and for introducing recycling initiatives.
We offer a trade refuse and recycling service and are able to offer advice on recycling options. Please contact us on 01242 262626 for information.
Grants, loans and support
The availability of grants and loans changes all the time. Good places to keep an eye on funding opportunities and for support in general include:
- Severn Wye Energy Agency
- The Carbon Trust, which provides support to SMEs and start-ups
- WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Progamme)
- The Energy Saving Trust
- The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Local businesses with expertise; entering "sustainability businesses Cheltenham" in your search engine will bring up some suggestions
You can claim Enhanced Capital Allowances (a type of first year allowance) for some energy and water efficient equipment.