10 tips to be a more eco-friendly contractor

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Martin Baxter
15 Nov 2021 @ 11:38 am
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You’ve probably seen the news on COP26, as world leaders gathered in Glasgow to discuss the fight against climate change. The climate crisis has become much more prominent in recent years, and this is only set to become more of a talking point over the coming years. Just a few weeks ago, Sunak announced new relief schemes for green technology in the Autumn Budget.  

As well as the obvious that you’re doing your bit for the planet and future generations, acting green can make you a more legitimate company and, in some instances a more desirable hire. More and more people are looking at how businesses are working and their green credentials. Here at Kingsbridge, we’ve put together 10 tips to be a more eco-friendly contractor.  

1. Remote meetings 

The one positive we can glean from the pandemic is that flexible working has now been embraced by many companies, and we’re all now experts at using the likes of Teams and Zoom. Ask yourself, do you need to travel halfway across the country for a 1-hour meeting with your client? Not only will it be kinder to the planet and your wallet, but it will also give you more time to work or relax.  

2. Use public transport 

Speaking of travel, one simple way to reduce your carbon footprint is using public transport. Instead of hopping in the car, you could opt for a bus or train. More bus and train companies are offering Wi-Fi onboard, so you could work whilst you travel. And if you’re travelling local, consider walking or cycling.  

3. Create a work from home area 

As we approach the winter and the days shorten, when working from home you may be tempted to heat your home all day and keep all the lights on. Instead, whether you have an office at home or a set place where you work, try to keep the heating and power limited to this area. Your bank balance will thank you for this one too.  

4. Research solar panels for your home 

If you own your home, you could look at adding solar panels. There are a variety of schemes available at the moment, so do your research to find the best scheme for you.  

5. Ditch the business cards 

Who keeps a stack of business cards these days? More often than not, they will end up in the bin. If business cards are still important in your field, consider purchasing ones made from recycled materials.  

6. Go paperless 

On the note of ditching business cards, it would also be a good opportunity to move away from printouts. Try to save paper by working on the cloud and emailing documents instead of printing. You could also set up an e-signature, to save having to print and scan a document back in. It’s less hassle as well, as we all know printers can be temperamental from time to time.  

7. Cut back on single-use plastics/cups 

Do you walk into your client’s office every day with a coffee in hand? If you are partial to a morning tea or coffee and are often on the move, you should buy a reusable coffee mug. Not only better for the environment, many cafes now offer a discount when you provide your own mug.   

8. Recycle everything you can 

We aren’t talking about cardboard and tins as, hopefully, you are doing that already. Batteries, old mobile phones, light bulbs and laptops can all be recycled. Recycle Now is a handy website where you can search items to see where they can be recycled.  

9. Consider your suppliers 

Once you have considered how you and your business can be more environmentally friendly, the next step is thinking about your suppliers. If you buy equipment for your work, are the suppliers also working with the environment in mind? Ask your supplies what they are doing to offset their carbon footprint and enquire if they have any greener options that you could use.  

10. Reduce, reuse, recycle  

Of course, you would have heard this slogan before. One of the simplest ways to be a more eco-friendly contractor is to reduce the amount of waste you create, reuse what you can, and recycle when you no longer need something.  

The climate crisis can feel overwhelming. Whilst doing everything on this list may feel daunting, even making a few small changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference. If you have any other ways on how contractors can be more eco-friendly, let us know. We’d love to hear your ideas.