The Welsh Government have an ambition for the public sector to be Carbon Neutral by 2030 in response to climate change. The effects of climate change are already shaping our lives. As Greenhouse gases have increased Merthyr Tydfil has experienced all of the key symptoms of man-made climate change including erratic weather patterns, air pollution, heatwaves and changes in biodiversity. Merthyr Tydfil Council will be supporting this ambition by carrying out a number of Decarbonisation initiatives and projects that reduce the Carbon Emissions of its operations and impacts on Climate Change. No matter how small your business or what industry you’re in, your actions can make a real difference.
Why does net zero matter for small businesses?
With the Welsh Government continuing to introduce legislation to meet the 2050 net zero target, making changes to your business operations will ensure you stay compliant.
Cut your costs
Reducing energy consumption, cutting waste or saving water are just a few of the solutions that can positively impact the profitability of your business.
Do your bit for the environment! Small businesses will play a vital role in reaching net zero and every business can contribute in their own unique way.
Attract new customers
As consumers become more conscious of their carbon footprint, they’ll be on the lookout to spend their money with businesses who align with their eco-friendly values.
The following guidance notes are intended to help you consider the types of activities and positive steps you can take to ensure your business operates in a responsible and sustainable way.
Working with responsible suppliers
Encourage good practice within your supply chain include:
- Source local and sustainable suppliers to cut down on the carbon footprint of your materials.
- Choosing suppliers based on their demonstrable good practices
- Having a written policy to guide how you choose suppliers
- Shop around and see if you can switch your energy provider to one with stronger green credentials.
Processes & property
What can you do in your daily business activity to reduce your energy consumption? This is a crucial first step on the road to being a green business and can also save you money on your utility bills.
- Prioritising renewable energy, efficiency and reuse
- Your processes and technologies are chosen for their efficient use of resources
- Turn off lights, computers and equipment when not in use
- Turn down the heating
- Keep your equipment maintained and efficient
- Hold an online meeting to cut down on travel
Waste & Pollution
To start the process of reducing your waste, you are advised to do a waste audit.
- Your products are made using minimal raw ingredients and materials
- Work with suppliers of any product you use to remove unnecessary packaging
- Try switching away from paper to digital in as many situations as you can
- Separate your recycling into separate bins which improves recycling rates and gives you the opportunity to potentially sell your waste. Common separate bins would be cardboard, paper, glass, tin cans/aluminium, food, and (most) plastics
- Can anyone in your community reuse any waste from your processes as part of their own or as a way to raise money for charity?
Opting for eco-friendly packaging is an effective way to show your customers that you care about the environment via your packaging.
- Check to ensure it meets functional requirements
- Reduce the amount of packaging that you use.
- Minimise packaging weight
- Packaging is designed to be re-used, recycled or composted
How you can cut your vehicle use, improve fuel efficiency and look at eco-friendly alternatives to driving. Look how you can minimise your fuel consumption and mileage
- Fuel efficient vehicles are used and kept in optimum condition
- Purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle will reduce your company’s environmental impact.
- Coordinate your deliveries in a more sustainable way by grouping multiple orders together or offering bulk deliveries
- Look how delivery runs could be shared with other local businesses
- Can you choose courier and delivery services who have stated a commitment to reducing climate change or who practice carbon offsetting
Well-being of staff and your local community:
How your business can ensure it is socially responsible include:
- Employees are paid a decent living wage and offered flexible working conditions
- Support local businesses and charities
- Encourage staff to volunteer for community activities
- Check your impact on your local community is considered
Use & End of Life – Circular Economy
We believe the circular economy is an important way of helping tackle climate change, reducing waste and reducing our carbon emissions, during both their life and at end of life:
- Extending the lifespan of products & equipment
- Recovering resources and circulating supplies
- Products and services are designed to minimise energy consumption during their use
- Products are sent to specialist recyclers when they reach end of life
- Focus on recycling the materials within a product