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Plan for a ‘green’ recovery

Lockdown is easing but we’ve still got a long way to go before we can say adios Covid-19. Shoots of recovery are emerging but are we using the crisis as a much-needed watershed or are we going back to the ‘same old’?

Now is the perfect time to plan and put in place measures that can address arguably a bigger crisis than Covid-19, the climate crisis. Disappointingly, the signs coming out of the Government suggest that they are content for the country to go back to where it was pre-pandemic. But that doesn’t mean business should. Let’s all take the opportunity this crisis provides to reset the way we do business so that our generation is not the first to knowingly leave the Earth in a worse place for future generations.

There are some easy wins and some harder wins, short-term solutions and longer-term solutions. However difficult the steps are it is imperative we all start acting now to minimise the impact of climate change – together we can make a big difference.

Start by drawing up a list of all the areas in your organisation you can address. Divide them into short- and long-term, easy and difficult. To energise the team, pick off the ones that can deliver a quick gain and communicate the environmental savings of each to your staff.

Here are a few suggestions:

· Be instrumental in ensuring your employees burn less fossil fuel on their daily commute to the office by encouraging more home working, especially now that Covid-19 has proven how successful it can be

· For the times staff do go to the office provide showers and an area to park bicycles/scooters securely, bearing in mind that more and more commuter bicycles are electric, therefore heavier than ordinary ones

· If you own your premises, install air source heat pumps, if you don’t, insist the landlord does

· Purchase energy from a 100% renewable supplier

· Kill the habit of printing out documents, just use electronic devices

· Embed an environmental culture into your organisation by redefining the purpose and making sure all employees buy into it. Your younger employees (the vast majority of whom will instantly buy into the new culture) can become advocates to help the sell

· If you are in manufacturing, re-purpose your processes so that production is sustainable. Wherever possible, all raw materials are designed to be re-used and waste is kept to a minimum

· Conduct an audit of your suppliers and find alternatives for the ones who will not align with your culture.

For all the misery and pain the pandemic has wrought, it has provided a once in a life time opportunity to reset the way we run our businesses so that they are kind to the planet, kind to staff and kind to customers. It would be such a waste if we didn’t!

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