Cutting business waste

Cutting your business carbon footprint can save you money

13 Apr 23 4 minute read

Scotland is committed to becoming a net zero nation by 2045. If your business doesn’t have a plan to cut emissions, it’ll need one soon.  

Save money by calculating your carbon footprint

Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t need to be difficult adopting more environmentally friendly business practices can help you save money. Going green is also a chance to give your business a competitive edge, which can help your business long-term.  

wind turbines spinning with blue skies in the background

Start by calculating your carbon footprint

If you want to reduce your business’s carbon footprint, you first need to calculate what it is.  

Scottish Enterprise has a helpful tool called the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard. This provides a standardised approach to estimating business-related greenhouse gas emissions.  

If you are aiming for your business to achieve net zero, once you have calculated its carbon footprint benchmark there are two things you will need to do: reduce your emissions as much as you can, and then offset what you cannot prevent. Here are some ways you can do both of those things. 

Save money on food

Reducing food waste is something that all organisations can do to help fight climate change and cut costs. It doesn't need to be complicated; it just needs a well-designed plan - and we can help you along the way.  

Each business has different needs, but the goal is the same - to reduce unnecessary food waste and prevent further damage to our environment. 

Here are some resources to help your business start saving money on food. 

Save money by reducing waste

Our Circular Economy Business Support Service delivers tailored, expert, one-to-one consultancy directly to small and medium-sized businesses across all sectors in Scotland, that are looking to develop circular business models.  

It’s designed to help companies explore more circular ways of doing business that can result in resource efficiencies, improved profitability, higher quality products, increased customer base and alternative supply chains for your business. 

Establish a green supply chain

The products and services businesses consume often have a bigger climate impact than energy use, so taking steps to 'green’ your supply chain can result in huge emissions savings. 

Embedding sustainability in your procurement policies not only reduces the carbon footprint of your business, but it can also drive emissions reductions across the wider economy.  

One simple approach is to switch from buying to renting. From your vehicle fleet to your printers, renting is proven to have environmental benefits, with rented products receiving routine maintenance and being reused once you’re no longer using them. 

For more advice and green supply chain examples, visit our circular procurement webpage.  

Embrace eco-friendly working practices

For many businesses, corporate travel and commuting will be one of the biggest sources of emissions.  

The Coronavirus pandemic showed us that video conferencing and other digital solutions are viable options for carrying out almost all meetings and day-to-day office-based business activities, making a demonstrable case for a digital-first approach 

Zero Waste Scotland’s day-to-day emissions fell by nearly 75% thanks to homeworking and we have now offered our staff the chance to do so permanently. Our data shows that while energy emissions may rise with homeworking, due to heating multiple houses instead of one office, they will be more than offset by the reduction in commuting and business travel. It won’t work for everyone, but it could be a great way to cut your climate impact.  

Zero Waste Scotland's day-to-day emissions fell by nearly 75% thanks to homeworking. 

Saving money on energy

The Energy Efficiency Business Support Service from Energy Savings trust offers free advice and support to help small and medium-sized businesses become more energy efficient and reduce energy bills. That's not only good news from an environmental perspective, but energy efficiency also boosts business productivity, competitiveness, resilience and, of course, profitability.