What’s our green credentials? First – we believe in global warming. We believe it’s caused by people. And, for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, our nephews and nieces, we believe we need to make the changes necessary to limit its impact.
Every person and every business has a part to play – including little, tiny ones like Write Answers.
“Can’t change”; “Shouldn’t have to change”; “What about India?” are such a vocal lot we don’t realise how many businesses have already switched up, and switched off.
As business people, keeping abreast of trends and technology is how we ensure we are positioned to navigate change, which will be coming, ready of not.
Most of the SMEs I know – in both town and country – have been making incremental changes for decades – and it’s timely to talk about them.
Many of the things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint are actually good for our bottom line – reduce, re-use, recycle will actually save money. Re-using a toner cartridge, for example, saves 40 per cent on the new cost.
Sometimes we need to carry heavy loads and tow things to places in off-road locations – on those days and the snow days we still get in the deep south – so we chose a 4WD double cab ute as the company vehicle in 2005.
A decade ago we realised not a single client had visited our down-town office in a year. So we gave up physical office space. Goodbye unnecessary travel, duplicate power, rates, insurance, phone – a whole pile of fixed expenses vanished from the bottom line without impacting productivity.
Even motor-vehicle expenses reduced because we no longer had to pay for inner city car parks.
We recognised double cab utes are not sensible town vehicles. They’re expensive to run, awkward to park and although they may feel safer, they’re not. They’re less manoeuvrable than a car and the higher centre of gravity means they over-represent in roll-over accidents. Rural drivers know this and drive them accordingly. That’s why in 2012 we added bicycles to the fleet – great for short urban trips and our health. Invercargill is a small town – it was actually faster to bike into the city centre that it was to drive, park and walk to the destination.
Last year when we analysed vehicle usage (like everyone else we had lots of COVID-19 downtime to do that kind of crunching), we realised we can do better. Enter the new E-Van smaller, capable of carrying light loads around town and neighbouring towns where a bicycle isn’t quite enough and a 4-WD ute is overkill. Parking up the 4WD aside from those times we really need it will help insulate the business from rising fuel costs – and that will make our accountant happy.
Bike, electric van, ute – that’s our fleet. We’d love to read more about the changes other businesses have made, and are continuing to make.