Prepare your business for the wet season

06 Nov 2013

A man shelters from the rain - photo Liquivault

During the winter, we are often hit with storms and excessive rain. If you own a business you will want to make sure that this weather causes as little problems for your staff and property as you possibly can. You will therefore be able to carry on as normal and will not be wasting money on repairs or losing out on staff hours. There are a number of ways to do this that will not break the bank and will keep your business as safe from harm as possible.

Have a clear-out

One of the main problems when a storm hits is the amount of water that our drains have to cope with. This can be made far worse if your drains and gutters are completely clogged up with leaves and debris as the water will have nowhere to go and will overspill. This is when issues will start to arise and damage could be caused to a number of aspects of the building. The brickwork may suffer and grout could become loose if water is constantly hitting an area. It could also seep in through a number of areas, causing internal damage. Also remember to have any trees trimmed so that if one is blown over, it is unlikely to cause significant damage or be a danger to any of your staff.

Move sources of power upwards

Heaters, electrical switch boards and boilers are all essential to keeping your building warm and in working order. To make sure that if there is a case of flooding, these are all intact, a good idea could be to move them higher and away from the risk of flood damage. This could definitely be a good decision if you are situated within an area that is often flagged as at risk from flooding. Year on year the same properties can be hit and it can cost a fortune to not only sort the structural damage but the problems with wiring and heating.

Do not leave existing problems

If you are aware that the area around any of your windows has been a little bit wet on occasion and are worried that there could be a leak, get this fixed immediately. Other problems such as loose guttering, missing tiles on the roof and a dodgy boiler could all become a disaster in times of high speed winds and torrential rain.

Install attenuation tanks

Attenuation tasks are able to retain a large amount of water and can be installed within the grounds of your property however big or small it is. They significantly reduce the risk of flooding for many people as they are able to store a large amount of water for a long time. Being a far more economically friendly option than water pumps or other water extraction devices, this option means you are helping the environment as well as keeping your business safe from flooding.

This post was written by Amy Bennett who experienced significant flood damage last year to her business. She has invested in attenuation tanks from Liquivault to prevent the same issues occurring again.

Are businesses doing enough to improve green credentials?

04 Nov 2013

Skip Hire UK

Environment. Efficiency. Green. Energy.

These are all buzz words at present, with businesses up and down the UK attempting to play their part in becoming a more energy efficient company to in turn become greener and protect the environment for generations to come. Are businesses doing enough to improve their green credentials though? Could more changes be made to commercial premises or how the business operates to have an even bigger impact on how they perform?

Detailed below are a few tips, tricks and pieces of advice that could be applied within all manner of different businesses to improve performance and ensure you are reaching your green business goals.

In the office

-Make sure all computers and other electrical items are turned off at the end of the working day as opposed to simply being put on standby to save energy during the night when the equipment is not in use.

-Open plan office spaces can be more economical to heat than those with a number of different rooms, so consider partitions to separate the area yet still benefit from heating one bigger room rather than a number of smaller ones.

-Consider where you are buying office supplies from and upgrade to environmentally friendly products that may cost you slightly more but will undoubtedly be a small price to pay for the benefits they offer.

-Going paperless can cut costs considerably at the same time as reducing the impact that using significant amounts of paper on a daily basis can have on the environment.

On the road

-Reducing fuel costs and consumption is the order of the day for businesses with vehicles out on the road on a daily basis, so improved driver training where they can discover how to adjust their driving styles to achieve this can be highly advantageous.

-Improved management of the condition of vehicles can also impact on how they perform, with a well maintained fleet likely to reduce running costs in the long term.

-Better route management can see multiple jobs being completed on the one trip, therefore avoiding empty vehicles travelling on the roads and enabling you to make more money from increased work whilst saving money on fuel costs due to the reduced number of vehicles making journeys.

There are many greener, more economical and environmentally friendly vehicles being produced by the leading manufacturers which can save a large amount of money in the long term in addition to performing in a much greener manner than old alternatives.

Waste and recycling

-The three Rs- reduce, reuse, recycle- can be applied across the board to businesses of all sizes in all industries. Reducing the amount of waste thrown away is the first step, reusing as much as possible is the next and then ensuring as much waste that you do throw away is recycled is the final step in improving green credentials.

-When making any improvements to your setting, perhaps in relation to energy efficiency, utilising the services of experienced providers to manage waste is a must. Companies like Skip Hire UK can provide waste management solutions before ensuring all waste produced is sorted and that which can be recycled or used again is.

With the government pushing for the country to be more energy efficient as a whole, businesses have a key role to play in the success of this both in the short and long term. If you've noticed a few features within this list that your business isn't currently practising, make now the time when you make the change to become a greener, more environmentally friendly organisation.

This article was written by Skip Hire UK

Carbon emissions tied to stock valuations?

31 Oct 2013

Stock market

After a report from the CDP last month found a correlation between high scores in reducing carbon emissions and increased stock prices, investors are adding a new calculation to their stock valuation and pricing schemes.

While advanced environmental initiatives have been long heralded as an expense that must be kept down to keep a company profitable, there is substantial evidence that in reality it is in investment a company can choose to increase its stock value and performance. The reasons for this are many and complicated but the resulting increase in value and long-term benefit to the environment is not.

What is pushing stock prices higher?
Traditional stock valuations are all about price to earnings ratios, net profits, and corporate debt or obligations. Using strictly this narrow scope of criteria, it can be argued (and often is) that additional regulation increases costs, causing businesses to be less competitive and reducing both profits and stock prices. But the actual facts do correspond to these assertions, regardless of the simple logic behind them. There are numerous reasons why the unexpected result.

Speculation on future energy costs- Carbon emissions are measured in numerous ways. The direct correlation between energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions makes it easy to presume companies with lower carbon emissions also will have lower future energy costs. Since there is no easy way to track exactly how much energy or how energy efficient a corporation is for considering the implications of future energy cost increases, carbon emissions make for an easily tracked and measured way to estimate. There is little no energy costs will continue to rapidly increase, but low carbon corporations may be presumed to be in a better position to deal with future increases in cost.

Cost of compliance with future regulations - Rather than placing the emphasis on the current cost of compliance, investors are working off the presumption that regulatory requirements will become ever more stringent in future. Corporations which are already ahead of the curve will be well placed to absorb these future costs with minimal impact. Companies that are marginal now have very predictable large compliance costs coming in the future that depresses their future value.

Sign of innovation and technological advantage - While every company boasts that it invests in infrastructure and the best technology available in its field, it is difficult for anybody but a true insider in the specific industry that has access to the plants and facilities to determine if that is a factual statement or simply words on a press release. Lower carbon emissions is a clear indicator that there is fact supporting that claim and that basic infrastructure and machinery is modern and up to date.

Investor price support - There is an ever growing segment of affluent investors and well capitalised investment groups which place an emphasis on green investing. The CDP Global 500 Report as an example lists 571 investment groups with over $70tr in assets that make green technology and performance a key indicator in stock and investment selection. While that is the biggest compiled set, many mutual funds and many private investors have made it their own priority as well. That type of financial backing is having an effect.

With stock values increase for major companies and corporations that not only adhere to but are proactive to regulation, when combined by the thousands of jobs created by the smaller companies like Mark Group that perform work with businesses and individuals to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency, it is a clear indicator that these regulations may be a net positive to national and global economies as opposed to the drain many have claimed.

The future of sustainable farming - big farms v small farms

18 Oct 2013

smallvbig-farms

To mark World Food Day on October 16th, drinks giant SABMiller is asking whether big or small farms represent the most effective means of improving food security.

As a global giant brewing giant that buys its raw ingredients from both small and large-scale farms in Africa, India, parts of Latin America, and elsewhere, the company certainly understands the pros and cons and has produced a video to explore the differences.

The merits and pitfalls of both approaches are more complicated than you might think.

Is the UK public getting financially smarter as well as greener?

17 Oct 2013

awesome-clean-tech-guy

As we gradually haul ourselves out of recession, there is mounting evidence that the last few years may have made the UK public think a little more about the way they live ... as well as the way they spend money.

One of the more interesting studies into energy usage to be released over the last few months, indicates that the UK public is in favour of an increased use of renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels - proving their commitment to environmental and financial preservation.

The study, which was funded by the UK Energy Research Centre but conducted by the universities of Cardiff and Nottingham, found that 79 per cent of those questioned are keen to see less reliance on fossil fuels and more than 81 per cent are eager to reduce their own energy use.

Alongside the fact that such an attitude would contribute positively towards the future of the environment, it could also be a genuine way of saving money on a personal level.

Addressing your credit rating

These statistics appear to indicate an increased maturity within the wider British public in terms of how they look at their own financial situation, but the prospect of addressing an individual financial status would be an even bigger step.

There are a number of myths surrounding the way in which you can affect your personal finance rating, but taking steps to identify the truth in this process before putting steps in place is a great idea. Firstly, make sure you understand how companies view your own personal situation, by going online and checking what will be seen by finance houses when you are checked. Go online and look at your Credit Expert credit rating. Doing it online is quicker, easier and obviously saves getting a paper copy.

Protecting the environment and saving money are big responsibilities for any consumer, but so is ensuring personal finances are in good shape.

Simple solutions

Registering on the electoral roll and striving to ensure you meet all rent payments on time are among the simplest ways to secure and maintain a high credit rating.

These examples are not particularly difficult to carry out and could make all the difference to your credit rating; something which could be critical as you move through life.

Know your score

Credit reports can be assessed in a number of different circumstances, with everything from applying for a mortgage to a new job being subject to basic credit checks. It is always a good idea to do everything you can to keep your credit rating as high possible and understand your score with these points in mind.

Poor credit ratings may have taken many people by surprise in the past when they found their applications rejected on the basis of discrepancies in their financial past but this situation is becoming less common in the modern day.

There is mounting evidence that the UK public is getting savvier when dealing with their financial affairs, finding ways to maintain their credit rating is all part of this, as is cutting down on expenditures and costs by going green.

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BusinessGreen's Industry Voice blog offers experts from across the low carbon economy the opportunity to present their views, opinions and analysis on the latest green business developments

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