Climate change has the potential to affect all of the major costs that your business incurs.
On this page, you will find suggestions that relate greenhouse gas reduction to the five most common costs that all small businesses encounter, as listed by the Canada / Manitoba Business Service Centre (1)
- Employees / labour
- Buildings – lease / mortgage and maintenance
- Shipping / transportation
Increasing employee productivity by just 1% through workplace improvements can generate enough additional profit to cover the annual energy costs for many businesses. To increase employee productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions try these alternatives:
- Implement a telework program. Also known as telecommuting, it is a flexible work arrangement whereby employees have approval to carry on some or all of their work duties from a remote site such as a home office.
- Join the Commuter Challenge. During the first week in June, Manitobans are encouraged to choose alternative transportation to work. Use this experience to change how your employees get to work all year long.
- Plan climate-friendly meetings. For example, determine which meetings can be held via conference call or choose meeting locations that are within walking distance for as many participants as possible.
- Develop a climate change program for your workplace that encourages team work, is fun, has senior management support, and that celebrates success.
It takes a lot of energy to run a business. The energy required for heating, cooling, and equipment costs you money and creates greenhouse gas emissions.
To reduce the emissions associated with your building try investing in some of these alternatives:
- Maintain your building envelope which includes everything that separates the interior of a building from the outdoor environment, including the windows, walls, foundation, basement slab, roof and insulation.
- If you are renting, work with your landlord to negotiate an agreement to retrofit your space to make it more energy efficient. By means of cooperation and open communication, a strategy can usually be developed that is beneficial / agreeable to both parties. (2)
- If you are building a new office or retail space consider using green building practices such as LEED. Green buildings have a number of benefits including being more energy efficient.
Green procurement is the purchasing of products and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.
To purchase a green product or service look for one with the following characteristics:
- reusable and contain reusable parts
- recyclable and contain recyclable materials
- second-hand or used materials
- economical to repair
- packaged in returnable or reusable shipping containers
- has the Energy Star symbol
Advertising & promotion
If you are taking action to reduce your company’s greenhouse gas emissions don’t keep it a secret! Learning from your peers is a great way to find out how businesses just like yours have taken action on climate change while improving their bottom line.
Get noticed for your actions by:
- get nominated or apply for an award
- tell customers about your actions with signage and other promotion
Shipping / transportation
Driving less is an effective step to reduce your business’s GHG emissions. It saves money and improves air quality. In Manitoba, transportation accounts for one-third of GHG emissions. (3)
Rising fuel costs are cutting into the bottom-line for many businesses. Even if you don’t feel this cost directly, your suppliers may raise their prices or they may add fuel or delivery surcharges.
To reduce your business’s transportation emissions try these alternatives:
- Implement a telework program for your employees so that they can work from home on certain days
- Be flexible with start and end times, making it easier for carpooling
- Install a bike rack in a safe location and provide showers and a change room
- Sign up for Winnipeg Transit’s Ecopass program
- Use conference calls to reduce car and air travel to meetings
- Choose a courier company that uses people power to deliver packages by bicycle or choose one that has invested in hybrid-vehicles – such as Natural Cycle courier in Winnipeg