The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions fell dramatically during the lockdown – the fastest rate for a century, according to figures from the government. Read on to find out how to reduce a carbon footprint as a business.
As the country stayed at home, factories fell silent and the road network was all but deserted, emissions fell by 8.9%. This was the biggest annual reduction since the Great Strike of 1926 when pollution was curtailed by 35%.
The pandemic has presented an opportunity for companies to rip up their ‘business as usual’ activities; a rare chance to sit back and reflect on whether their activities are environmentally responsible.
Sustainability Is A Huge Consideration
Even before the Covid crisis, sustainability was a huge consideration for many businesses, whether that was switching to a fleet of electric vehicles, using ‘smart’ technology in factories to reduce energy use or something as simple as recycling more or swapping old fluorescent lightbulbs to LED luminaires controlled by motion sensors.
At Red Diamond, the team worked throughout the lockdown, with interviews and business meetings conducted online. We were already well versed in the art of using video technology, working as we do with clients and candidates around the globe. But for UK appointments, interviews would almost certainly have taken place face-to-face.
Obviously, this was impossible during the lockdown, so we switched to a 100% online interview process. When you consider that each appointment at the director level may involve five or six interviews, from an initial candidate meeting to a final interview and introductions to the board, the use of video technology has saved many thousands of miles of journeys.
For example, a London-based candidate for a director-level role could have clocked up a whopping 3,000 km behind the wheel, travelling to and from our Huddersfield base for interviews. And that’s just for one role – and before you take into account our team’s own commute to and from the office.
We’re committed to doing what we can to promote sustainability and moving to more online interviews is one way we can do this without compromising on the quality of our offering to clients and candidates. Not that video interviews can ever completely replace meetings in person – but for the initial rounds, it’s a sustainable option.
Our clients themselves are also placing a high value on eco-friendly solutions that allow them to reduce their carbon footprint. The various lockdowns have given businesses the opportunity to transition to flexible working patterns that may result in more sustainable options becoming available.
Some changes are relatively simple to introduce; others – wholesale changes such as switching to an all-electric fleet – may require a brave and committed CEO to adopt.
It will be interesting to see whether there is an increase in the uptake of accreditations such as ISO14001, the internationally recognised standard that provides a framework for an effective environmental management system.