Making your business more eco-friendly

Moving heavy loads around in large vehicles is a recipe for high carbon emissions, and the use of packaging materials can often be reckless and inefficient. Removals can be a wasteful industry – but it doesn’t have to be. 

The growing problems for our planet associated with carbon emissions means that it has never been more important to prioritise a green approach for all businesses, particularly in an industry with such a large carbon footprint.

But being kinder to environment doesn’t have to be tiresome or tedious. That’s why we’ve complied together 4 easy but effective steps to lower your environmental impact.

1. Reduce CO2 emissions

Let’s start with the big one – removals companies have high levels of carbon dioxide emissions, but there are ways to tackle this problem. 

You can start small, by cycling to home removal surveys instead of driving. If the customer lives far away why not try buzzsurveyIt’s a live surveying app that not only saves you time of travelling to and from the house and the time it takes to carry out the survey, the money in petrol back and forth but is also way kinder to environment. No c02 will be emitted into the environment when you use it unlike when you’re driving to carry out a survey.

Using biodiesel is also an option where possible, with this natural alternative to fossil fuels made from renewable sources such as vegetable oils and animal fatsWhile biodiesel sounds like an excellent solution, there are a few caveats. Not all vehicles can be run on this alternative, so you need to make sure that your vans are compatible before considering this fuel. It is also worth noting that a lot of biofuel is made from palm oil, which is incredibly damaging to the environment.  

The best way to reduce carbon emissions is to switch to electric vans, which are completely emission-free although more expensive to buy. Another issue is that the majority of electric vans on the market at the moment are smaller models, like the Renault Kangoo ZE, and Nissan e-NV200.

Fortunately, bigger e-vans are on their way to the UK, including the Renault Master ZE, which will go on sale later this year.

The Renault Master ZE is due to be released in the UK this year. Image via renault.co.uk

2. Being more mindful day to day

Before you think about investing in any offsetting programs you should try to reduce your impact on the environment. It may seem small but overtime it’s incredibly effective. This can be done in a variety of ways, from greater levels of recycling, to using more energy efficient appliances and lighting in your office. Operating a paper-free workplace is also a good way to offset carbon emissions, by using digital devices instead of order forms, letters, and so on.

3. Carbon offsetting

If you’re still concerned about your emissions, you can also compensate elsewhere in your business through carbon offsetting. This is the process of saving carbon dioxide elsewhere to balance out your emissions. You can do this by calculating your carbon footprint, and reducing your carbon emissions elsewhere.

Another positive step as a removal company would be to get involved in buzzmove’s carbon neutral initiative, which helps removal companies offset their carbon emissions through planting trees. As the tree grows you are constantly offsetting your carbon emissions. For instance, 1 tree can offset 1 tonne of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old. Why would you not get involved? To find out more, click here.

4. Recycle packaging materials

In addition to carbon emissions from the vans themselves, one of the biggest eco-issues associated with removal companies is packaging materials. If you offer boxes as part of your service, make sure they are reusable or recyclable.

There are also certain materials that should be avoided, such as plastic packing peanuts and plastic bubble wrap and often end up in landfill. They are not environmentally friendly because plastic don’t biodegrade. In fact nothing that is made out of plastic biodegrades. When it does finally break down, toxic chemicals are released.

A good substitute would be using air-popped popcorn and shredded paper for padding. The shredded paper can also be recycled after moving. If you prefer to buy padding, opt for reusable pads, recyclable packing paper, and specially marked biodegradable bubble wrap and packing peanut.

This approach to recycling should extend across your business, as running a more ecofriendly removal company is not just about the vehicles themselves. Being green should permeate everything you do, from your own vehicles, to your staff, and even any commercial partners.

Removals can be a wasteful industry – but fortunately if you follow these tips you can run a more ecofriendly business.

Author bio: Sam Butterworth is a writer and blog editor at Happy2Move, a London-based man and van removal business

Editor bio: Isabella Hernandez, content writer at buzzmove, a price comparison platform for mover quotes