Climate change

Support for businesses to be greener

Legislation

Environmental legislation covers areas relating to aspects such as air quality, energy, hazardous waste, packaging, solvents, waste from construction and water.

Through being more resource efficient your business can reduce its environmental impact that will, in turn, help you comply with appropriate environmental legislation and save money.

Tips for business energy efficiency

Lighting

To be more energy efficient:

  • turn off lights when not in use
  • replace standard light bulbs with compact LED lamps
  • upgrade older T12 lamps with more efficient T8 lamps with solid-state electronic ballasts
  • install sensors in locations to turn off when no one is present and on when people return

Office equipment

To save energy when using office equipment, you should:

  • unplug battery chargers and any machines when not in use
  • use ‘stand-by’ features to turn off computers and monitors to reduce annual costs from £50 to £15, and this may also prolong the lifespan of the equipment
  • upgrade to laptops, they use less energy than desktops
  • always keep the AC adapter connected to a laptop, or unplug it when not needed for charging, to maximise savings
  • ensure equipment is off at night, weekends, and during holidays, even if you switch something to ‘stand by’ or ‘hibernation’ modes it will still use a small amount of energy

Heating and Air conditioning (HVAC)

When it's cold:

  • adjust the thermostat to as low as is comfortable, the room will not heat up quicker just because the thermostat is turned to its highest setting
  • do not use extra electric heaters, they are expensive and can also be a fire hazard
  • keep curtains or blinds open at windows that face the sun to heat your office with solar radiation and reduce the pressure on your heating system
  • ensure heaters and vents are not blocked by furniture or other items
  • adjust your dress code according to the weather

When it's warm:

  • keep curtains or blinds closed to block direct sunlight from heating the building during warm days
  • open the windows in the evening
  • keep areas in front of vents clear 
  • keep external doors closed when the building’s air-con is on

Essential maintenance

You should:

  • book your HVAC inspection at the beginning of heating and cooling season
  • ensure your air conditioning is adjusted both for heating and cooling, winter set to between 18°C and 21°C and summer set to 22°C
  • consider installing solar screens or solar films to your windows
  • plant vegetation around the buildings as this can keep them cool
  • avoid heating and cooling areas that are not frequently used

If it’s broken, fix it! 

Empower your staff

You should:

  • make sure that everyone knows that saving energy will help the company, and ask your colleagues for their ideas on how you could all save energy
  • display posters, internal messaging and quick facts sharing energy saving tips
  • appoint a green ambassador within your company

Grants

If your business is an SME, you might be eligible for a grant from Low Carbon Workspaces.

For information about other funding to help your business become greener you can read find funding to help your business become greener on GOV.UK.

Further information

More information on sustainability legislation for business can be found on the following websites:

See tips and advice for commercial waste and recycling and view our sustainable construction advisory guide which provides an overview of some of the technologies available for construction.