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What is a Green Initiative?

What is a Green Initiative?

Whatever commitments and action plans you have in place for the short- and long-term reduction in your carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, having a specific bounded Green Initiative can be a valuable tool in your drive to reduce your Carbon Footprint. Making some key commitments about delivering environmental benefits by direct actions within your organisation is a vital step on your road to Net Zero.

Thankfully, they can really be a catalyst for change. They engage your business to bring focus on practical steps that can make a difference in reducing waste and energy usage. Ultimately, delivering environmental benefits as well as efficiencies and cost reductions.

In the wider context, a Green Initiative can help to increase knowledge and enable transition to a long-term sustainable future. The International Labour Organisation says that more than 1.2 billion jobs depend on a stable environment and ecosystems and has launched their Green Initiative. In fact, it states that, “a healthy planet is a necessary condition to guarantee decent work, productive enterprises and sustainable livelihoods.”

Going Green

The Green Initiative aims to:

  1. Advance research and understanding of the challenges and opportunities for the world of work arising from a green transition.
  2. Forge policy responses from the world of work in all sectors to ensure decent work and social justice for all.
  3. Build strategic partnerships at national, regional and international levels.

Here in the UK, there are accreditations that can help you move to a more sustainable future:

  • Green Mark assesses, audits, and certifies your business’ impact on the environment.
  • The Green Initiative:“the UK’s ONLY accreditation scheme for businesses committing to being greener and more sustainable through efficient management of their waste streams as we head towards Net Zero.”

As well as tools and guidance, these schemes can help you promote your achievements in environmental sustainability and be part of a journey to ISO 14001 Environmental Management.

Energy Initiatives

Key areas for initiatives where ‘easy wins’ may be available include:

  • Switch to Renewable Energy Sources: there are specialist green energy providers and mainstream suppliers that offer green tariffs. This energy comes from wind turbines, solar panels, hydropower and biomass.
  • Smart Meters allow you to monitor overall water and energy usage, while also helping to identify areas for energy-efficiency improvements
  • IoT (Internet of Things) devices allow easy deployment of systems such as Smart Lighting that can use sensors to detect ambient light levels, occupancy and traffic levels to manage systems for optimum energy usage.
  • Monitor and Audit: Use data both from your energy provider(s) and your IoT systems to ensure your systems continue to work at their optimum level, and signs of equipment failure can be detected early. Remember that data not directly connected with energy usage from your IoT systems can also be useful in shaping behaviours and thereby increasing efficiency and reducing energy usage.
  • Government Support: Loans and grants may be available for you to purchase more energy efficient machinery and plant; free or subsidised advice on green issues may also be available.

Business Initiatives

Key areas for initiatives where ‘easy wins’ may be available include:

  1. Green Procurement: purchase goods and services using recycled and recyclable materials, and equipment designed to reduce energy and water consumption.
  2. Initiatives to reduce waste and increase recycling, including redesign of products and processes to produce less waste.
  3. Use cans not plastic bottles and use glass instead of plastic for water. If you must use plastic, use eco-friendly compostable plastics.
  4. Use video conferencing and remote working including collaborative online workspaces; up to 80% of the cost of a meeting may be covered in travel costs.
  5. Move to the Cloud: Switching off your local servers and the air conditioning plant required to maintain them, can have a real impact on costs as well as your carbon footprint.
  6. Switch to electric vehicles and carpools and move from air to rail travel.
  7. Encourage, even subsidise, employees to use public transport and cycling.
  8. Try Green Challenges for employees; a “bike to work day” or “use your own coffee cup day”
  9. Go paperless.
  10. For a food business or one that operates a canteen, reduce food waste and use sustainable sources.
  11. Save and recycle water, and don’t overfill the kettle!

Summary

Green Initiative really is a term that can embrace the political and the personal. Globally, Green Initiatives give a real impetus to the drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deliver a sustainable future. Their work will provide us all with tools and strategies to reduce our carbon footprint. It will also support the funding and development of new carbon reduction and elimination technologies.

Green Initiatives within your business can have a positive impact on employee engagement and morale. It can also deliver measurable changes to your systems and processes to lessen negative impacts on the living world.

 

Please visit the Chronos Times area of our website to read the latest Insights and Bitesize articles, learn about our attendance at recent Events and much more.

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